Changes Parent Support Network was incorporated in December 1996 and groups officially started meeting in January 1997. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and are not affiliated with any other group or religious organization.
Members include Couples, Single Parents, Stepparents, Guardians, and Grandparents. The families we support have one or more acting-out children ranging in age from middle school to older adult children. Our program provides support and tools for parents to change their own behavior, not “fix” their child. We promote independence and natural consequences for our kids’ actions, which is usually not an appropriate approach for younger children.
Regardless of your child’s age, we will welcome you at Changes. But you may find that our members have less personal experience to draw upon and share if your child is in elementary school.
Every family is different and issues may differ from one home to another.
- In one home, a child may be just beginning to engage in risky behavior.
- In another family, the parents may have differing parenting styles and find themselves in crisis over how to parent the challenging behaviors of their teen or young adult.
What Makes Changes Unique From Other Support Groups?
One common thread binds us together—each of us are parenting an acting-out child. New attendees find they easily connect with other parents who are in a similar situation to their own.
Our groups encourage members to meet outside of weekly meetings to support each other. Each week we make one support call and receive one support call to see how the week is going.
Meetings are structured to help us create both short-term and long-term goals. Our long-term goal is called our “stand” and the weekly short-term goals are “small steps.”
- At meetings we break into small groups to discuss the previous week.
- Each of us reports on the progress we have made toward our goal during the previous week.
- We provide support to each other by listening, asking questions, and demonstrating empathy.
- We also use this small group to form our small step for the upcoming week.
- Focusing on these small steps provides manageable and reachable milestones for the parent
Teams are an important element of the Changes program and a very powerful tool.
- After about six weeks, we pick four to six members to be on our team.
- In addition to our weekly meetings, teams meet at a time and frequency that works for all team members.
- Team members support the parent(s) who created the team.
- The team will thoroughly examine the family’s issues and help develop an action plan.
- Team participation benefits all those involved and holds the parent accountable for executing the plan that they created with the team’s help.
Typical problem behaviors can be:
- Violent or abusive
- Oppositional and defiant
- Failing grades or not attending school
- Substance abuse
- Stealing at home or shoplifting
- Gang involvement
- Running away
Support Changes Today!
Your gift to Changes assists us in sustaining our vital operations, programs, and services. It also helps us reach more parents, grow public awareness, and educate our communities to the challenges Changes parents face.