Families who have challenges with parenting can now come to the KP Community Council office on Fridays to get more information. In addition, families or individuals who want to know more about applying for assistance with food, insurance and child care are welcome.
Britney Williamson, a family support worker at Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW), now has regular office hours on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. She can let people know if they qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Apple Health (the Washington State Medicaid program) or vouchers to help cover the cost of child care, and she can help with the application process.
Williamson also offers parenting classes, using a Triple P (positive parenting program) approach. The classes are designed for families with children between two and 12. Parents may be referred through agencies, physicians or schools, but she also welcomes self-referrals.
“Triple P teaches families about the possible causes of misbehavior, how to manage misbehavior and how to encourage desirable behavior,” Williams said. “This is a program available at no cost to any parent struggling with parenting or who wants to learn new skills or techniques to manage their household.”
The program includes a video, workbook, tip sheets and opportunities to practice new skills “Parents are learning a lot. The dynamics of the household really do change,” she said. “I prefer to do individual work.” If the caseload gets too high, CHSW will also offer classes for four to six families at a time, with child care provided.
According to the Triple P website, the program is based on 35 years of ongoing research and is used in 25 countries. It gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships, confidently manage their children’s behavior and prevent problems from developing. The program is designed for parents who are experiencing challenges with their child’s behavior and who want to improve their relationship with their child and to figure out different ways for safely managing challenging parenting situations. It is for natural families, kinship care families, adoptive families and foster families.
Williamson, who lives on the Key Peninsula, started working at CHSW in Vaughn as a student intern while earning her bachelor’s degree in social work, with a concentration in children and families. She is currently working on her master’s in social work and is interested in juvenile justice.
“She was just so good I had to hire her,” said Jud Morris, community manager of the CHSW Key Peninsula Family Resource Center. Williamson joined the staff about a year ago. Her position is supported through a contract with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.
While her hours at the KP Council Office in Vaughn are usually Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and she is ready to see anyone on a drop-in basis, she encourages people to call the CHSW office to confirm her hours and set up and appointment at 253-884-5433.