As referrals for parental education and support have risen from local agencies and schools, Parenting Matters has recently stepped up to increase its services to meet the increasing demand. The organization recently hired three new Parenting Educators to serve more families in Sarasota County to address the greatest gap in parenting services, intensive home visits for high risk families. New employees, Rocio Gormerly, Jennifer Green and Jenny McConnachy, all have strong backgrounds in working with at-risk families and collectively have 33 years’ experience in supporting parents and children.
“When a child is healthy, happy and supported by their parents, it impacts every aspect of their life,” said Katrina Bellemare, Executive Director of Parenting Matters. “Research shows that empowering families with the necessary knowledge and skills will lead them to live healthy and productive lives. Adding these three compassionate and knowledgeable women to our team will be a gamechanger in the services we can provide.”
In 2018, Parenting Matters served more than 700 parents and 1,354 children in the region. The organization expanded its physical footprint into Sarasota County by adding office space at the conveniently located Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center, and $240,000 in grant funding from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation was provided to increase operational support.
“Parenting is the most important job in the world, and Parenting Matters ensures parents don’t have to do it alone,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation. “Our board wants to ensure that no family will be turned away from receiving support, and we invite others in the community to collaborate and support in these efforts.”
As Parenting Educators, the new staff will help families to address needs such as: child safety, communication, positive discipline, child development, access to community resources and becoming involved in and advocating for their child’s education.