I guess it's the social worker in me, but I feel compelled to do a post about resources that are available to help parents. Reason being, there are so many out there! If you are having a struggle with a child, there are people out there who would jump at the chance to assist you. If you are struggling with your own issues of depression, there are counselors who set aside part of their day to assist on a no-fee policy. If you have legal troubles you can't take care of on your own, there are programs that provide attorneys for you to talk to. There is no shame in needing help (okay, I'm crying as I type this), there is no shame in seeking to make a better life for you and your family. It's okay to ask, I promise.
I found all of these resources at the United Way of Utah County website, under the tab Find Help and click on Check our Online Database. Seriously people, there are more than 350 listings, go check it out! For those of you who don't live in Utah County, I would google United Way in your area to see what resources are available to you. Most of them are national programs, so they should be available everywhere.
Here's a list of some that I thought might be pertinent:
Parenting Group-- a 12 week course for parents taught at BYU. Topics include how to connect with your children, setting limits, teaching values, etc.
Speech and Language Clinic-- a BYU clinic for any child with any type of speech delay.
Autism Study-- a study for kids with autism ages 4-7.
Couple Treatment Study-- for married couples. Will receive reimbursement for participating in study/counseling sessions.
Walk in Volunteer Clinic-- a free clinic for non-emergency medical needs, including well child checks.
Mutual Self Help Housing-- a program for low income families to assist in building their own homes. Kind of like Habitat for Humanity, but there's a group of families that all work together building each other's homes. I helped with this a few years ago and it was so fun, especially because it turned out we knew one of the people who would be moving into the neighborhood we were working on.
Children with Special Health Care Needs-- evaluations for children whose parents feel there is a significant delay in their child's development (speech, hearing, vision, learning, autism, etc.)
Welcome Baby-- a program for new mothers. I volunteered with this program for almost a year and I would meet with new moms and talk to them about what to expect their baby to be doing, ways to interact with their child, how to care or the baby, etc. They have a new component which involves playgroups and even have free information to download about how to hold a successful playgroup that teaches your child social skills.
Help Me Grow-- a program that can provide assessments on child's development and provide information about resources available.
And, if you'd like, the United Way website also has a huge list of volunteer opportunities in the community. There are so many things that you've probably never heard of, but would be super helpful and fun to be a part of this year!