Local News

Free parenting classes start this week

By March 4, 2011

Woodland Community College’s Foster and Kinship Care Education Program is opening its doors to a series of free parenting classes during March.

“Legal Complexities In Foster Care” will be presented from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 8, 15 and 22. The classes, which will be conducted in Room 852 (upstairs in building 800), will be facilitated by Laura Nielsen, a Yolo County court investigation social worker. The college is at 2300 E. Gibson Road in Woodland.

This series is designed to take attendees on a  journey through the dependency process, viewing it from multiple perspectives of those involved in the court process — those representing the child, parents, guardians, child welfare and the court itself.

Shared will be the intricate network of professionals all providing best practice for the process in their differing roles and perspectives. Applicable and relevant Welfare and Institutions §300 Codes, Juvenile Court time lines, and the importance of maintaining relationships and valuing multiple viewpoints when considering “the best interest of a child” will be addressed.

Several guest speakers in the legal field will join in to provide their perspective in representation, advocacy and challenges.

Classes are open, and attendees can participate in any or all of the three evenings. Reservations are not necessary.

A second three-part class series will be offered on Thursday evenings, March 10, 17 and 24. “Connect To Your Kids” will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in WCC Building 800, Room 852.

Debra Wiegel, a local marriage and family therapist, will focus these workshops on improving the social and emotional well-being of children and teens who come to live in families other than those they are born into. Current issues faced by today’s youth — including school, self-worth, being bullied, drugs and alcohol, anxiety, technology and more — will be discussed.

Research shows kids do best when they spend time with an adult who cares about them, participates in family dinners, and whose parents seek and find support. The goal of the Foster and Kinship Care Education Program is to help make a parent’s job easier, to decrease children’s aggressive behaviors, drug and alcohol use, and to help improve social and emotional behavior, and enhance communication.

Reservations are not necessary for this series.

A third free class series will be conducted in mid-March. As part of “Diversity Education and Character Building,” a two-day training will be offered from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 11, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Attendees may participate in either or both classes.

Titled “Just As I Am,” this series on diversity is designed for youths and caregivers — foster, kinship or birth — to come together and talk about blending families, culture, history and way of life, along with gain a better understanding and appreciation of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, personal choices of sexuality, education, employment and expectations for the future.

Several individuals will share pieces of their life story, being gay, raised by someone other than a birth parent and “feeling” different.

This free series will meet in Room 852 upstairs in Building 800 at the college.

While on the Woodland Community College campus, a $2 parking permit is required. Permit kiosks are in the parking lot.

For more information, contact Cherie Schroeder at (530) 574-1964 or [email protected], or visit http://www.yolofostercare.com.

Special to The Enterprise

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