Families Strengthening Families (FSF) was established in 2013 and offers parenting support groups, classes and workshops that offer creative ideas, peer support and skills training to help parents succeed. The program utilizes several nationally acclaimed models for parent education.


Support Groups hosted by Families Strengthening Families allow parents to receive and provide support, and coping strategies from other parents who have experienced similar issues and concerns. Using the relaxed and informal Parent Café model, these support groups offer adults an accepting environment as they learn from each other.


In 2013, Families Strengthening Families led the way for Mississippi to become the 12th state in the United States (as part of the Be Strong Families Chicago, IL organization) to utilize the Parent Café Model in delivery of parenting services to families. Parent Cafés are parent-led community groups in which parents share, learn, and find support through engaging in meaningful, guided conversations.  These parent groups provide opportunities for families to share ideas and discuss matters that are important to them.  They get time to reflect on their family and how important they are as a parent/caregiver.  The goal of the group discussions and activities is to help families build Protective Factors which have been proven to be effective in strengthening families.


In addition to parent support groups, Families Strengthening Families offers parenting classes and workshops utilizing two nationally recognized curriculums.

ACT Raising Safe Kids

ACT Raising Safe Kids (ACT) is a national parent education program designed by the American Psychological Association (APA) that focuses on adults who care for children from birth to 8 years old.  The ACT program’s goal is to strengthen families by improving or changing parenting skills that create safe, nurturing, stable early environments and positive experiences that protect children from violence, trauma, and its consequences.

The ACT curriculum offers sessions on topics that include:

  • Motivation and Change
  • Understanding Your Children’s Behaviors
  • Young Children’s Exposure to Violence
  • Understanding and Controlling Parents’ Anger
  • Understanding and Helping Angry Children
  • Children and Electronic Media
  • Discipline and Parenting Styles
  • Discipline for Positive Behaviors

Active Parenting

Active Parenting is a parenting curriculum that supports and prepares families through “every stage, every step” of their child’s development. Curriculums include:

  • Active Parenting: First Five Years (ages birth – 5)
  • Active Parenting 4th Ed. (ages 5 – 12)
  • Active Parenting of Teens
  • Active Parenting for Stepfamilies
  • Crossroad of Parenting & Divorce

The Active Parenting curriculum includes sessions on topics that include:

  • The Active Parent
  • Cooperation & Communication
  • Responsibility & Discipline
  • Building Courage & Self-Esteem
  • Understanding & Redirecting Misbehavior
  • Drug, Sexuality, & Violence: Reducing the Risks
  • Active Parenting for School Success


Download the Community Resource Guide

Download the Special Needs Resource Guide


Families Strengthening Families provides on-going resources to raise awareness about preventing child abuse. In addition, each April, the program facilitates a community-wide emphasis on Child Abuse Prevention Month which includes engagement activities, workshops and training, and awareness campaigns. Click to visit our Child Abuse Prevention website.

Families Strengthening Families is funded by Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Children's Trust Fund.

“I have been attending the Parent Café for approximately 3 months. I am married and have a blended family. I have faced some struggles with visitation with my sons’ father and grandmother. I received so much support at the Parent Café and can now handle this situation with more “parental resilience.” The Parent Café has helped me to have more strength in dealing with my family matters and I look forward to the conversations. I found out other parents are facing similar challenges. By the way, my husband is now attending the Parent Café with me.”

~ Susie H.


Barbara Culberson, Families Strengthening Families Program Coordinator

For more information about the Discovery Center's Families Strengthening Families initiative, please contact:

Barbara Culberson
Program Manager