In 2017, the Episcopal Community Foundation (ECF) awarded Emmaus House a grant to launch the Parent Café program to help strengthen families in our neighborhood. The Parent Café was parent-driven, using a process for continual and ongoing connections for parents. The Parent Café brought parents together to engage in peer-to-peer conversation around five research-based protective factors that mitigate the negative impact of generational poverty: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children.
After completing Parent Café, one parent shared, “I hope that Emmaus House will help continue to hold the community accountable to do their part in making our community safer, cleaner, and positive for our children.”
In addition to building protective factors, participants built empathy and connection with parents facing similar challenges. These organic and powerful moments created an environment where all participants felt comfortable sharing their own experiences.
As a result, Emmaus House searched for appropriate programs to build on the skills participants developed through the Parent Café. Through our partnership with United Way, the Parent Café has evolved in 2018 into a hub for fostering family leaders at home and in the community. This parent-lead program helps participants learn how to engage in restorative and protective peer-to-peer mentoring outside of Emmaus House. Funding from the Episcopal Community Foundation helped prepare neighborhood parents to grow their leadership skills and progress toward this next stage of development.
Stay tuned for an announcement regarding our continued partnership with the Episcopal Community Foundation in the May newsletter!