Department of Family Services – Children, Youth and Families

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 services to 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 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.

“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 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

TBD

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 Culturally-Focused 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

6/26/24 – 9/18/24 Wednesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m. 
Gum Springs Community Center
8100 Fordson Road
Alexandria, VA 22306    
Marcus Garr 703-324-7737
Tierra Graham 571-407-6639

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

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.

16 sessions

Classes

6/11/24 – 9/17/24 Tuesdays 5:30-8 p.m.
Main Street Child Dev. Center
4401 Sideburn Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Sammy Zeballos 703-324-3532

Interested and ready to participate in a class for parenting children ages 0-4? Call the Parenting Support Line 703-324-7720 to be added to the waitlist.

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.

13-16 sessions (depending on the curriculum used)

Classes

6/3/24 – 9/16/24 Mondays 5:30-8 p.m. (Spanish)
TBD
Agustina Bravo 703-324-7196

6/11/24 – 9/17/24 Tuesdays 6-8 p.m.
This class will be held virtually.
Erika Rincon Diaz 703-324-5004

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

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

6/17/24 – 8/26/24 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 

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Family MattersThis April during Child Abuse Prevention Month, the theme is Family Matters! When loving families spend time together they build connections that create a sense of belonging. The values learned in a loving family provide the guidance a child needs to make life’s tough decisions. This month and always, we encourage parents and caregivers to explore fun ways to share family stories, traditions, and values to help give children a sense of direction, connection, and belonging. Learn more.

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Parent Support Line – We Are Here to Support You

two parents and two young children playing with toy carsParent Support Line 703-324-7720

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

The Parent Support Line is a great resource for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-18 years old. Staff can help with parenting advice, support, and tips to help navigate emotional and relational parenting issues. Language support is available. Our support team is available to answer your questions.

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Virtual Parent Cafés – A Community of Support for Parents

Join a community of support among others handling similar parenting situations. Parent Cafés are virtual and free and meet monthly during the school year. They're a great way for parents or guardians of children 0-18 years old to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills. Managing children’s screentime year-round is a challenge for all parents, and the summer can be even harder with more free time and looser schedules. Join us Tuesday, May 14 for a discussion on what’s realistic for your family, how to maintain healthy limits and how to encourage children and teens to pursue other activities. Fairfax County parents or guardians with children ages 0-18 years old are welcome at this group which meets from 6:30-8 p.m. Sign up for any Virtual Parent Café by sending an email or calling 703-324-7720 at least one business day before the Parent Café date listed. We look forward to you joining us!

Tuesday, May 14 – Virtual Parent Café: Managing Screentime in the Summer

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Parenting Tips and Resources

Access more parenting information articles, videos and more! 

Sign-up below to receive our monthly email newsletter with Parenting Information and resources.


man and woman with two children making breakfastHelping Children Manage Their ADHD Symptoms

Parenting a child with ADHD can be challenging and even overwhelming at times. There is a lot of pressure on parents and caregivers to help your child complete tasks, and maintain focus in the classroom or similar settings. Find out how to restore hope in your situation with the Parenting Education Programs’ tips and brain tricks for managing ADHD symptoms. 


mother comforting upset daughterHelping Children Manage Their Anger

Anger is part of the human experience. We’ve all been angry at one time or another. It’s easy to recognize, but it can be difficult to control, especially for children. Check out these suggestions from the Parenting Education Programs about how to help your child manage this difficult emotion and express it in a healthy way. Learn more.


woman smiling at daughter with cell phoneBuilding Trust with Your Teenager

Raising teenagers can present lots of new challenges even for seasoned parents and caregivers. It’s important to remember that trust is the foundation of any strong relationship. Check out these suggestions from the Parenting Education Programs to build a trusting relationship with your teen. Read more.

 


UnscriptedParenting After Domestic Violence – Unscripted: Conversations about Sexual and Domestic Violence

Check out our Parenting Education Programs’ Supervisor Marcus Garr discussing Parenting After Domestic Violence in a new Department of Family Services’ podcast, “Unscripted: Conversations about Sexual and Domestic Violence.” Garr joined the conversation with Unscripted host, Kendra Lee, Sarah Freeman, licensed professional counselor with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services; and Jennifer Perkins, ADAPT counselor. This powerful podcast, provides insights about behaviors parents should look out for; warns about the “sleeper effect,” when children suppress their trauma responses until adolescence or young adulthood; and guides parents about how to support their children and lessen the impact of trauma.


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