Parents Anonymous is a self-help group for parents who are having difficulty coping with their children. Meetings where parents can share their concerns, vent their frustrations, and explore constructive ways of dealing with everyday situations are held weekly. The goal of the Parents Anonymous Program is to establish, strengthen, and maintain healthy emotional and physical relationships between parents and their children. Parents who develop constructive attitudes toward children can produce a lifetime of more meaningful experiences for their families.
Parents Anonymous meetings are run by parents. Professional facilitators, people with counseling skills and sensitivity, attend the meeting to offer assistance when needed. Parents may share phone numbers so that, should a crisis arise, they can call one another for direct help and prevent possible abusive incidents.
The contract with the Erie County Department of Human Services pays for a professional group facilitator who assists the parents in developing constructive responses. There are no fees for membership. Additionally, childcare services are provided at the meeting place, allowing the parents to participate in the group discussions.
All participants in the Parents Anonymous group, including the facilitators, make a commitment to protect the anonymity of fellow members and keep the content of meetings confidential. However, if it becomes evident at any time that a child’s welfare is at risk, the facilitator assumes responsibility to assure that the abuse is reported to child protective services.
The group is open to any parents who want to improve their relationships with their children. We believe that parents who are actively abusing drugs or alcohol or who are experiencing serious mental health symptoms need to get these conditions under control before they can readily benefit from Parents Anonymous.