Parenting Awareness Month: Oakland Family Services offers programs that help parents and caregivers develop new skills

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March is Parenting Awareness Month, a time dedicated to promoting parenting education that will help children develop into healthy, loving, responsible adults. Oakland Family Services offers a wide range of programs that help parents and caregivers develop new skills. Take a look at our programs!

Fussy Baby

The Fussy Baby program helps parents with an infant or toddler who cries a lot, exhibits behavior problems or becomes easily overstimulated by sounds, sights and activity. An infant and family specialist will meet with families at their home weekly or biweekly to come up with strategies that will comfort the child and reduce stress for both the baby and parents. The program is provided at no cost to families with children birth through 4 years old meeting eligibility requirements.

Early On

Early On can ensure children are on track with their language skills, muscle coordination and interpersonal skills by providing developmental assessments and evaluations for children birth to 3 years old. Children experiencing any developmental delay, or those with a diagnosed condition which may result in a developmental delay, are eligible for Early On services, at no cost to the family. A developmental specialist will be assigned to a family based on the home location and local school district.

Parents As Teachers

Parents As Teachers provides the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life. Parent educators make home visits and involve families in activities that encourage growth in language, social and emotional development. They also conduct child development screenings and playgroups. The program is provided at no cost to families with children birth through 6 years old who are at risk for school failure and/or abuse and neglect.

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Before 3 to Succeed

The Before 3 to Succeed early childhood initiative offers tips that parents can use to help their babies grow and thrive and offers screenings to find out if children are developing on track. Information shared on social media and the Oakland Family Services’ website encourages brain development in children ages 0-3. If screenings reveal a developmental delay in children, they are routed to appropriate services, but the agency offers helpful, educational programs for children without delays as well.


G.O.A.L.S. (Gain Opportunity to Achieve Lasting Success) provides families with children ages 5 and younger developmental screenings; referrals to needed community resources, such as food, shelter or vocational assistance; and parenting, health and nutrition education opportunities. The program is funded through United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Early Learning Communities

Early Learning Communities (ELC) provides free parent and child programs that help children develop social and emotional skills while strengthening parents’ relationships with their children. Parent workshops focus on how to use positive approaches that help children learn and grow. Programs include: Parents Interacting with Infants and Toddlers; Family’s First Year Conversations; Play and Learns; The Incredible Years: Incredible Babies; and Positive Solutions for Families. ELC is also funded through United Way for Southeastern Michigan. For program descriptions, dates and locations, visit our calendar.