A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Last Revised: Dec 30, 2008 - Initial Posting: Jul 09, 2003

Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) sponsors The Parenting Place to develop strong and healthy families and to promote and enrich parental development and nurturing of children.


Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) created The Parenting Place based on the philosophy that:

  • It is a child’s right to be raised in a positive environment conducive to optimal physical and emotional growth
  • Parents and society have a responsibility to assure a safe and healthy environment
  • All members of the family are valued and have a right to live in the absence of abuse and neglect
  • Non-punitive discipline and guidance are preferable ways of managing children
  • All families have strengths, which can be built upon
  • All parents can learn positive, effective parenting skills through education
  • People of all ages are capable of changing, learning, and growing

The focus of The Parenting Place is to provide preventive and awareness services that address the reduction of family conflict, child abuse and neglect. Parent education classes are offered quarterly during days or evenings for two hours a week. A Resource Center has been established with a Lending Library that contains books, videos and pamphlets. Materials are age-specific from birth through teen years, as well as for special needs.

The Parenting Place offers a wide range of parenting classes - Parenting Class Descriptions....Winter 2009 Schedule....Summer 2008 Schedule.  Various parent-training models are used for the classes including:

  • Make Parenting a Pleasure created by Parenting Now! (formerly Birth to Three) serves as a parent education and support program
  • SandCastles for children of divorce created by Gary Neuman who also provides training and certification for staff (this component works with attorneys and judges and is often included as part of a divorce decree with children, as well as parents, involved in classes)
  • Systematic Training for Effective Parenting is used for curriculum purposes

Parent education classes are open to the public based on a sliding-fee scale. Referrals are received from Child Protective Services, the courts, Health Department, and KCR’s own programs. Training is also provided to a Head Start Fathers Group and through contract with other established parent groups. For example, parenting classes are conducted at a Dept. of Corrections Women’s Facility and are also arranged for women (and their partners) who are in the Work Release Program. Approximately 500 parents are involved in training each year.

The program is coordinated by The Parenting Place Supervisor. AmeriCorps placements are used as parent educators and to staff the Resource Center/Lending Library (these individuals have prior experience with parenting initiatives and they also receive facilitator training). Community residents who are provided with an honorarium also teach classes and a college student majoring in human services has also been involved.

Participants in The Parenting Place services may also be linked with other KCR programs such as the Early Learning and Family Services Programs and Employment and Training.

Funding for The Parenting Place has been developed through multiple sources including United Way, various service clubs (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis), fees for services, Child Protective Services, Federal Substance Abuse Prevention Program, private foundations, and fundraising (i.e. a Fashion Show is held each year as a special event).


Outcomes for 2007:

  • 464 individuals were served
  • A new parent-learning contract resulted in increased attendance and active class participation
  • Perfect attendance rates have doubled since the program’s inception and class completion rates have increased by 50%

VernaRae Oraker, Supervisor - The Parenting Place