Department of Family Services - Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

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

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,

Parenting Education Programs

The Department of Family Services offers FREE parenting education classes.

The 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.

Families enrolled in the programs can relax knowing that each class includes child care and an evening meal for all participants.

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.

Video - Free Parenting Education Classes

We are now enrolling for classes that begin in winter 2020. This video provides an overview of the Parenting Education Programs, and the schedule below gives details about each class offered.

Parenting Classes

Learn more about upcoming parenting classes for:

  • African-American Cultural Focus
  • 0-4 Age Range
  • 5-11 Age Range
  • 12-18 Age Range

The 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)


There are no sessions scheduled at this time.

Parents 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

2/3/20-5/11/20 Mondays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
Main Street Development Center
4401 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
Raiza Barraza 703-324-7745

2/5/20-5/13/20 Wednesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
8009 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, VA, 22308
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737

2/13/20-6/18/20 Thursdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
Christ Presbyterian Church
12410 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22033
Raiza Barraza 703-324-7745

4/1/20-7/15/20 Wednesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
ACCA Child Development Center
4175 Daniels Ave., Annandale, VA 22003
Janet Little 703-324-7501

Parents 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

11/7/19-2/20/20 Thursdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Grace Presbyterian Church
7434 Bath St., Springfield, VA 22150
Janet Little 703-324-7501

1/27/19-5/4/20 Mondays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Fairfax Church of Christ
3901 Rugby Road, Fairfax, VA 22033
Debi Hackney 703-324-7790
Lisa Payne-Chesley 703-324-7734

2/12/19-5/27/20 Wednesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
Messiah United Methodist Church
6215 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152
Mario Prada 703-324-7405

3/3/20-6/23/20 Tuesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
14640 Soucy Place, Centreville, VA 20120
Debi Hackney 703-324-7790

3/19/20-6/18/20 Thursdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Grace Presbyterian Church
7434 Bath St., Springfield, VA 22150
Janet Little 703-324-7501

6/2/19-8/26/20 Tuesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
5800 Backlick Road, Springfield, VA 22150
Alba Quinones 703-324-7310


Family 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.

12 sessions

1/27/20-5/4/20 Mondays 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
2001 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria, VA 22309
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737
Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617

2/11/20-5/5/20 Tuesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. (Spanish)
Willston Multicultural Center
6131 Willston Drive, Falls Church, VA 22044
Alba Quinones 703-324-7310

Podcast - County Conversation - Dads and Parenting

DFS staff, Marcus Garr of the Parenting Education Programs and Bennie Herron of the Father Engagement Program made a joint appearance on the June 5, County Conversation podcast with host Jim Person to talk about dads! Listen to their conversation to learn how each program’s classes and other services help dads to embrace their role in the family and parent with confidence! Tune in to the interview through the SoundCloud podcast.

Spanish-Language Radio Program - WUST “La Voz del Condado de Fairfax”

On Apr. 2, staff from the Parenting Education Programs were guests on WUST’s Spanish-language program 1120 AM “La Voz del Condado de Fairfax” discussing Child Abuse Prevention Month and services offered by Fairfax County to support families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Tune in to the interview through the YouTube video or SoundCloud podcast.

Interested and ready to participate in a class? Contact Parenting Education by email, phone at 703-324-7691 or contact the name listed in the class information.


“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).”

Fairfax Virtual Assistant