Parent Support Circles
What are Parent Support Circles?
This 40-year-old, province-wide network of approximately 43 self-help groups provide parents with a safe environment in which they can talk about their children, parenting challenges, successes and failures, the stress or worries in their lives, receive support and parenting skills. Parent Support Circles are free, confidential, anonymous, weekly meetings of parents who wish to learn new ways to nurture and protect their children.
How Do I Join a Parenting Circle?
Please be aware that the Parenting Circle is not a drop-in program and we do not advertise exact locations of all the Circles for safety and privacy reasons. You will need to call the local PSS phone number for your region or the referral number of a partner agency in your community in order to be referred to the Circle. Registration to the Circle is very important before you attend. You will be given all the information you need to take the next step in joining a group. Here is the list of our regional offices across the province:
What will happen when I call about a Parent Support Circle?
When you call, you will speak with a staff of Parent Support Services, the group that administers Parent Support Circles all over British Columbia. Whomever you talk to will ask for your first name, how many children you have, their ages, your home phone number, and a convenient time for a group facilitator to call back. We usually ask if we could leave a message on your voicemail to protect your privacy.
Then we refer you to a Circle facilitator. He or she will call you within 72 hours to tell you more about the program and the specific group and ask more about you. The two of you may arrange to meet and talk further before the next meeting, or you may simply be invited to the next meeting.
What will happen when I attend a Parent Support Circle?
All Parent Support Circles follow a similar plan but the details for each meeting vary from one Circle to another. Many Circles open with each parent saying how they are and how their week with their children has been. Participants discuss parenting concerns in the supportive setting provided. One of the most important things about Parent Support Circles is that they respond to the needs expressed by the parents who attend them.
In some communities circles operate in Spanish, Englishm Cantonese, Mandarin and Filipino. There are also support groups for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Parent Support Services Society of BC ensures that anyone parenting children and teens will be comfortable joining a Parent Support Circle. Parent Support Services is able to provide childcare in most locations or a small subsidy to pay for chid care and transportation, if needed. Our objective is to remove the financial obstacles that might prevent a parent from attending a Support Circle.
Parent Circle Locations
Looking for information on specific Parent Support Circles?