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Kids Don't Come With Instructions

Kids Don't Come With Instructions

In 1998, The Children's Place (TCP), a local non-profit who's mission is to help eliminate child abuse and neglect through prevention and treatment services for young children and families, expanded their services to create the Parenting Support Services Program (PSS). The goals and activities of this program focus on the education of parents and professionals in the importance of nurturing and preventing harm to children.

In their 25 years of experience TCP has learned that kids don't come with instructions and that many parents may find themselves in need of guidance, support and information. This need can come at any given point in their child's development, regardless of income level, race, religion etc. The help available at TCP covers both a wide range of issues and ages. Examples of the types of assistance available through the PSS program include: ensuring a first time parent gets started on the right foot with Parents as Teachers visits, teaching parents successful ways to deal with their difficult school-age children through Love and Logic parenting classes, and providing one-on-one support for a parent struggling with the behaviors of a child diagnosed with a disability or delay. In the last five years the services provided have grown to include: In-home services to parents and caregivers, In-home services specifically for Grandparents and other "Skipped-Generation" caregivers to meet their individual needs when taking on parenting roles, Parenting Classes provided throughout the community covering a wide range of topics, and Foster Care/Adoption Services (including pre and post placement trainings, assessments, and post adoption case management), and starting in February 2003 the brand new PLAY at Home Program.

This exciting new service is designed to reach families who are staying at home with their children. The goal is to help children, not enrolled in childcare, to enter Kindergarten ready to learn. The Parents Learning About Youngsters (PLAY) at Home will incorporate monthly home visits with monthly lunch and learn meetings to assist parents in better understanding their child's development and how to promote early learning and brain development. Families will be able to earn vouchers by attending the home visits and meetings and can use these vouchers to purchase developmentally appropriate toys and books. In, addition The Children's Place will house a lending library containing toys, books, children's videos, and parenting resources.

The PLAY program is available to any parent with a child under the age of three years who is not attending childcare on a full-time basis. Parents must meet income guidelines (185% of poverty) and cannot work more than twenty hours a week. The service is available to families in Clay, Platte, Cass, or Jackson Counties. This program is funded through a grant from the Missouri Division of Family Services.

For more information or to enroll please contact
The Children's Place (816) 363-1898.



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