Parenthesis supports parents in their efforts to create a loving, nurturing and happy environment for their children by connecting them to parenting tools, one another, and their community.  

History

In 1980 Parenthesis was founded as a resource for families with young children living in the Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park communities. The agency provided parenting education, peer support and respite for new families with young children in the community. Parenthesis developed the Morning Family Drop-In Program so that parents could network and learn together.

Several years later, in 1984, Parenthesis identified the need for programs that served the needs of specific populations. The Parenteen and Parenting On Our Own programs served young teen and single parents. As a result, Parenthesis expanded its mission to include these previously underserved parents. No other organization in the community provides these services and they are provided at no cost to the participant.

In 2007, Parenthesis certified on the Parents As Teachers model, a national, research based home visiting model serving parents of young children.

In 2016, Parenthesis became a program of New Moms, beginning a new chapter of supported services in Oak Park River Forest and Chicago. New Moms has served young moms and their children in Chicago facing poverty and homelessness since 1983. Through comprehensive services including transitional housing, parent education, child health and development monitoring, community based doula services and workforce development, New Moms surrounds young moms and their children with all they need to transform their lives. Click here to learn more about the New Moms and Parenthesis relationship.

Today, Parenthesis has remained true to its mission by serving community families through four core programs:

Morning Parent Meet Up serves families living in the Oak Park and River Forest and communities throughout the near western suburbs.
Parenteen serves teens, their children and their parents in Oak Park and River Forest and in Morton East high schools.
Mothering On Our Own serves single parents in Oak Park and River Forest.
Family Wrap serves a wide range of families with diverse needs in Oak Park and River Forest.

Goals

  • To provide a place where parents can come together for mutual support
  • To affirm and strengthen the parent child relationship
  • To link families to other community resources
  • To encourage the full development of children