Department of Family Services – Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

703-324-7500
TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,
Director

Parenting Education Programs

Parenting Education Programs (PEP)

The Department of Family Services offers free parenting education classesvirtual parent cafés, videos and articles. These services help families develop important skills to grow healthy relationships with their children.


Parenting Education Classes

These free classes teach positive and effective ways parents can interact with their children at every age and stage of development. They help families to:

  • Understand what to expect from children at different developmental stages and ages (0-18 years).
  • Build strong, positive, respectful relationships between all family members.
  • Take charge of their own feelings and behaviors, and communicate in non-threatening ways.
  • Handle stress and anger better, and find alternatives for yelling and spanking.

About Virtual and In-Person Classes

About Virtual Classes

The Parenting Education Programs is offering assistance from a distance with online parenting classes. If you are interested in registering for a virtual class, please check out the schedule below and email us with the age range you are interested in, 0-4 years, 5-11 years or 12-18 years, and a staff person will invite you to the next available online class. You can also contact us by phone by calling 703-324-7720.

Our classes meet the parent education guidelines developed by the Supreme Court of Virginia. If class requirements are completed, a certificate of completion is awarded during the last class.

About In-Person Classes

Families enrolled in the in-person programs can relax knowing that each class includes child care and an evening meal for all participants. All family members have age appropriate instruction to help with building strong, positive, respectful relationships within the family.

Our classes meet the parent education guidelines developed by the Supreme Court of Virginia. If class requirements are completed, a certificate of completion is awarded during the last class.

Participants' Testimonials

“The program surpassed expectations, and I applied several methods and techniques that directly and positively impacted my relationships with my children and our overall home environment.”

“Great class and awesome facilitators. [The class] has helped my son and his behaviors have noticeably improved as a result of implementing the things we learned here into our lives.”

“This class was great! Everything that I learned and put into practice has worked. I have a better system with rules and consequences at home. All the techniques (negation, privileges, compliments) have helped me to have a better understanding and relationship with my kids. The classes have also helped my kids open up to me and understand our new routine of parenting with love.”

“I’m a new mom and I feel I’m doing a great job because of them (PEP).”

ARC Reflections Classes

ARC Reflections provides caregivers with tools to help children and teens learn to regulate themselves, feel connected, and build strengths.

These classes are offered in English and Spanish.

9-10 sessions

Classes

10/19/21-12/21/21 Tuesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737
Mary Elizabeth 703-324-7870

1/24/22-4/11/22 Mondays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737

3/1/22-5/3/22 Tuesdays 6-8 p.m. (Kinship)
This class will be held virtually.
Mary Elizabeth 703-324-7870

3/3/22-5/5/22 Thursdays 6-8 p.m. (Spanish)
This class will be held virtually.
Raiza Barraza 703-324-7745

Interested and ready to participate in an ARC Reflections class? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7720 or contact the name listed in the class information.

African American Parenting Classes Offered in English

African American Parenting Classes Offered in English

father and mother holding baby - all smilingThe core curriculum is the same as the basic Parenting Education Programs but it also emphasizes how African American history has affected the parenting style for African Americans. This curriculum delves into African American history, culture, and traditions.

These African American culturally-focused classes are offered in English.

12-13 sessions (depending on the curriculum used)

Classes

2/9/22-5/11/22 Wednesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617

Interested and ready to participate in an African American Parenting Class? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7720 or contact the name listed in the class information.

0-4 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

0-4 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

mother holding up infant childParents learn to recognize and understand feelings; nurturing parenting routines; infant massage; child development; and ways to foster positive self esteem in themselves and their children. Uses the Active Parenting Curriculum.

These classes are offered in English and Spanish.

14 sessions

Classes

9/29/21-1/26/22 Wednesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737
Lisa Payne-Chesley 703-324-7734

1/24/22-6/16/22 Mondays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Lisa Payne-Chesley 703-324-7734

2/21/22-6/23/22 Mondays 6-8 p.m. (Spanish)
Main Street Development Center
4401 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
Raiza Barraza 703-324-7745

Interested and ready to participate in a class for parenting children ages 0-4? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7720 or contact the name listed in the class information.

5-11 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

5-11 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

mother sitting with child smilingParents and children learn to increase their empathy, discover new ways to encourage appropriate behaviors, build positive self-concept and self-esteem, and learn how to have fun as a family. Uses the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum. View the schedule of classes.

These classes are offered in English and Spanish.

13 sessions

Classes

9/20/21-1/17/22 Mondays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617

9/29/21-2/22/22 Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. (Spanish)
This class will be held virtually.
Raiza Barraza 703-324-7745

10/5/21-1/18/22 Tuesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Debi Hackney 703-324-7790
Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617

2/15/22-5/31/22 Tuesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617
Lisa Payne-Chesley 703-324-7734

Interested and ready to participate in a class for parenting children ages 5-11? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7720 or contact the name listed in the class information.

12-18 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

12-18 Age Range Parenting Classes Offered in English and Spanish

father and son being silly with soccer ballFamily members learn nurturing communication strategies, how to recognize each other’s needs, how to understand the developmental stages of adolescence, and ways to build their own personal power, self-concept and self-esteem. Uses the Active Parenting Curriculum for Spanish classes. Uses the Nurturing Parent Curriculum for English classes. View the schedule of classes.

These classes are offered in English and Spanish.

12 sessions

Classes

9/27/21-12/13/21 Mondays 6-8 p.m. (Spanish)
This class will be held virtually.
Alba Quinones 703-324-7310

Interested and ready to participate in a class for parenting children ages 12-18? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7720 or contact the name listed in the class information.

Video - Overview of Parenting Education Classes 


Virtual Parent Cafés – A Community of Support for Parents

Join a community of support among other parents handling similar situations during these stressful times. Virtual Parent Cafés is a great way for parents to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills.

Virtual Parent Cafés Schedule

Find a community of support among other parents handling similar situations during these stressful times.

Virtual Parent Cafés is a great way for parents to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills. Topics include discipline, self-care, and family rules.

All Virtual Parent Cafés are open to Fairfax County parents or guardians with children ages 0-18 years old.

2021 Dates

Virtual Parent Cafés – English Speakers

mother and father playing ball with babyEvery 2nd and/or 4th Monday 7:30-9 p.m. 

Jan. 11, 25
Feb. 8, 22
March 8, 22
April 12, 26
May 10, 24
Sept. 13
Oct. 11
Nov. 8
Dec. 13

Virtual Parent Cafés – Spanish Speakers

child laughing hugging over father's shoulderWednesdays 7-8:30 p.m.

Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27

Tuesdays 7-8:30 p.m.

Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
April 6, 13, 20, 27
May 4, 11, 18, 25
June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
July 6, 13, 20

Virtual Parent Cafés – African American Culturally Focused

three generations of family sitting together on sofaThursdays 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 11
Feb. 25
March 11
March 25

Sign up for any Virtual Parent Café by sending an email or call us at 703-324-7720 at least one business day before the Parent Café date listed.

We look forward to you joining us!

Learn more about this community of support for parents handling similar situations during these stressful times.


Virtual Kinship Cafés – Support and Encouragement for Caregivers

Are you raising a child for a family member or friend? If you answered “yes,” you are a kinship caregiver. We offer support to kinship families through Virtual Kinship Cafés that help build a community network among kinship caregivers.

Virtual Kinship Cafés Schedule

two older adults and young child looking at a book togetherKinship Cafés have moved to virtual format. Kinship caregivers can foster a sense of community with others who understand how difficult and joyful it can be raising a child for a family member or friend. Join us to discuss topics such as discipline, self-care, and family rules. You can also find out about community resources that you may not have known existed.

Virtual Kinship Cafés take place from 6:30-8 p.m.

2021 Dates

Wednesday, Jan. 13
Wednesday, Feb. 10
Wednesday, Mar. 10
Wednesday, Apr. 14
Wednesday, May 12
Wednesday, June 9
Wednesday, Sept. 8
Thursday, Sept. 16 
Thursday, Sept. 30 
Wednesday, Oct. 6 
Thursday, Oct. 14
Thursday, Oct. 28 
Wednesday, Nov. 3
Thursday, Nov. 18
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Thursday, Dec. 16

For more information or to participate in a Virtual Kinship Café, send an email or call 703-324-7720. 


Parenting 101 Video

Check out our video series Parenting 101. Parenting Education Programs' Natalie Bailey answers your most pressing frequently asked parenting questions about discipline, self-care, family routines and more!

Check back for new videos. Catch-up on all of the Parenting 101 videos.


Parenting Tips and Resources

Access more parenting information articles, videos and more!


September is Kinship Care Awareness Month

Nearly three million children in the United States, nearly 70,000 children in Virginia, and nearly 4,000 children in Fairfax County, are being raised in kinship care by grandparents, relatives or close family friends when their parents are unable to do so. All year, but especially in September, Fairfax County recognizes the importance of kinship caregivers and providing services to support kinship families. Learn about Kinship Care Awareness Month, kinship caregiver stories and available services.

Kinship Care Awareness Month 2021 Keeping Children Connected to Family


five children sitting outside doing homework5 Tips to Prepare Your Children to Go Back to School During COVID-19

Under normal circumstances, children can experience a mixture of emotions about the return to school in the fall. Given all the COVID-related changes that children have experienced in the last year, these feelings are more complicated than ever. Now is a good time for parents to start having conversations with their children to help them have a positive outlook on going back to school. Check out these tips


two parents and three children outside making facial expressionsPrioritize Mental Health, Build Resiliency in Families

The pandemic is leading many families to experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before. During May, which is Mental Health Month, our Parenting Education Program is providing free tools and resources to help parents who are concerned about supporting their children’s mental health and general well-being. 


Amy with Fifi and SofiaRaising a Relative’s Child? You Are Not Alone

If you are raising a child for a family member or friend, then you are a kinship caregiver. And you are not alone. Kinship caregivers can benefit from training and support to help them with the unique concerns that can arise while caring for a relative’s child. Learn more about our programs and the experiences of other kinship families, send an email or call us at 703-324-7720.


back of child looking downWe All Need to Help Protect Children During COVID-19

COVID-19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down. The isolation has caused many families to lose their support networks, which has been especially stressful for families with children. As a result, some children may be at higher risk of harm. Others may not be safe because there isn’t a responsible adult who can watch or take care of them. Learn more about what to consider if you suspect child abuse, how to make a report, and resources to help


Pocket Dad video graphic logoRelevant and Helpful Topics for Fathers

Fathers, like mothers, play a significant role in their children’s psychological and emotional development. Positive father involvement contributes directly to children’s well-being, safety and stability.

Through each Pocket Dad video, our Father Engagement team members talk about relevant and helpful topics. Check out the current and past videos.


volunteer adults and kidsVolunteer with the Parenting Education Programs

Opportunities include:
Facilitating parenting sessions.
Providing a location for classes.
Preparing or serving a meal for participants.
Helping to promote the classes in the community.
Learn more about opportunities.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant