Family Strengthening/Parent Skills Training

altProgram History

The Family Strengthening/Parent Skills Training Work shops was first offered by Passages in 1995 and was created by the current facilitator using the twelve modules he developed for the Department of Children and Family Services.  The work shops were created to assist parents in developing effective childcare and communication skills to assist in strengthening family relationships.  Over the years, the program has demonstrated the effectiveness of a comprehensive, coordinated, family-focused approach to preventing problems that may lead to abuse, neglect and the removal of minor children from the home.

Program/Services Description

Passages’ offers three (3) to four (4) twelve-week sessions to families in need of parent skills training. This program is voluntary and each participant must attend a series of work shops (two hours long) that include, but are not limited to, parenting skills, stress management, alcohol/substance abuse, domestic violence,nutrition and financial planning.  This is also a no excuse program that provides childcare for children three year sold and up and workshops for teens 12 through 18, case management, referrals,resource information and a Certificate of Completion.  Families also participate in Diabetes, Breast and Cervical Cancer, HIV/AIDS workshops and seminars, as well as community health fairs.  Passages’ makes and receives referrals from DCFS, Child Protective Services, domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse services, community agencies, schools and individual/family referrals.  Intake interviews and case management with follow up for WRAP services and/or referrals to public and community-based organizations are provided.


Many of the families return to the program to share their previous workshop experiences with new participants or to gain more information and/or services the program provides. Friendships develop among some of the families and some enroll their children in other programs that Passages offers. 

Program Goals and Objectives

The goal of the program is to help develop skills for the prevention and intervention of child abuse and/or neglect by presenting the following modules through discussion, video, individual and group participation and role-play:  Topics covered through out the twelve-week sessions are:

Providing Adequate Food                                 Providing Necessary Medical Care

Providing Adequate Clothing                             Education

Providing Adequate Shelter                               Spousal Affection

Providing Protective Shelter                              Discipline

Parent Stress                                                    Resources

Alcohol, Other Drugs & Parenting                     Networks of Support

Specified Goals and Objectives

One hundred percent of families referred will have intake processing with one of Passages’ staff

At least 95% of families participating in the Family Strengthening/Parent Skills Training Workshops will receive their Certificate of Completion

Enrollment Criteria

Enrollment is open to any family in need of Family Strengthening/Parent Skills Training. On average, Passages’ has provided services for 40 families during the course of every one twelve-week session.  Referral forms, program overview and workshop schedules are faxed or mailed to DCFS, community-based organizations, social service agencies, courts, individuals, etc.

Program Contacts

For more information please contact one of the following individuals at 312/225-3800 or email.

  • Darlene McWilson, Clerical Support Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Girls Mentoring Program Success Stories

Marissa Redmond has been a participant in Passages Girls Mentoring Program since 2011. She was a student at Bronzeville Military Academy when she joined. She would often admit that her grades weren’t the best and people didn’t take her seriously while in high school, but after serious consideration, she realized that she needed a change of scenery. Marissa moved with family to Danville, Illinois. I stayed in contact with Marissa. She would come to visit us when she came home to be with family and friends.

Marissa attended prom and graduated from Danville High School and made her way back to Chicago to live. Marissa came back to the Girls
Mentoring Program in 2014. No later than a couple months she started working at McDonald’s and enrolled in college at Harold Washington.

After working at McDonald’s for seven months, she was hired at O’Hare Airport at Hudson’s Gift Shop. Marissa expressed that she had a change of career goals and notified me that she was interested in designing clothing and applied for The Art Institute. She will be a student at the Art Institute Spring 2015. Marissa is very motivated and determined and has been a joy to have in the Girls Mentoring Program. She would often express her experiences while in the program as well as her wisdom on different situations with the younger girls.
Passages Alternative Living Programs Inc