Parents are uniquely positioned to shape and influence the future success of their children. Action for Children offers several programs for parents to learn and develop new skills to help them.

Programs for Families

Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK)

Be your child’s first and best teacher! SPARK Columbus is a family-focused kindergarten-readiness program that works collaboratively with families, schools, and the community. Action for Children’s SPARK Columbus program can help you get your child ready for kindergarten by building reading, language, and social skills that will help create a seamless transition into school. Each month, a SPARK Columbus Parent Partner will guide you on how to become your child’s first and best teacher.
Do you want to learn how to help your child get ready for kindergarten? If you live in Franklin County and have a 3-5 year old, we can help!

SPARK Columbus is a FREE home-visiting program that includes:

• FREE Story books and activities;
• School-readiness lessons based on Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards;
• Linkages to community resources  when needed;
• Monthly visits in your home or a location of your choice

To get connected with a SPARK Columbus Parent Partner and determine your child’s eligibility, please send an email to Areesha Hunter, or call 614-224-0222, ext. 168.

To directly request more information from SPARK, please complete this online form.

Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)

Raising children isn’t always easy. Would you like to feel less stressed and feel confident that you are raising happy, confident kids?

The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) gives parents new ideas and a chance to meet other parents. This program is for parents and caregivers of children 0 to 8 years old. It helps parents manage behavior and address problem behaviors. Perhaps it’s your toddler’s supermarket meltdowns… or nightly bedtime battles with your daughter… or your son’s disobedience or aggression. We give tips on how to settle the problem – quickly and calmly!

We won’t tell you how to parent. But we will give you simple, practical strategies you can adapt to suit your family’s values, beliefs and needs. Because we know happier families lead to better relationships… and successful kids!

You can attend any of the small group discussions below. These two-hour small group discussions target a specific problem or topic, such as:

  • Dealing with Disobedience
    Get tips on how to get kids to listen and follow directions—and what to do when they don’t.
  • Hassle-Free Shopping with Children
    See how to plan for easy, calm trips out in public and how to deal when kids act up.
  • Managing Fighting and Anger
    Learn strategies for teaching kids to solve problems and get along with others.
  • Developing Good Bedtime Routines
    Get advice on getting your kid to go to bed—and staying there.

Learn more about Triple P and register for upcoming classes. You can also email Areesha Hunter, or call 614-224-0222, ext. 168 to request more information.

Programs for Fathers

Fathers have a powerful and positive impact on the development and health of children. Research shows that children with actively involved fathers develop better verbal and intellectual skills, perform better in school, are more emotionally secure, and have fewer behavioral problems. Research also shows that expectant fathers and fathers of very young children can play a key role in the baby’s health and safety.

Action for Children has several free programs for fathers, designed to help and support each Dad to be the best father, co-parent, and provider he can and wants to be.

Father Factor 

  • Dads-only program focusing on parenting, co-parenting and self-care
  • Individual case management services addressing self-identified barriers
  • Guidance with courts, child support and other complex systems
  • Comprehensive job development services and more.

Father Factor is funded by the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood and is FREE to eligible fathers. A limited number of sessions are offered in Spanish. A limited number of sessions are offered in incarcerated settings throughout Central Ohio.

Our next Father Factor cohort will take place in Newark starting Nov. 4. The cohort will meet on Mondays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church (65 N 3rd Street, Newark, OH 43055). Learn more about the Newark Cohort.

To learn more and get connected with the Father Factor program, contact Ashiko Hudson at 614-224-0222, ext. 170.

The Journey 

  • Collaborative program with Franklin County CSEA, Jewish Family Services and Goodwill Columbus
  • Fathers participate in fatherhood groups to gain hands on parenting skills and co-parenting strategies
  • Fathers participate in job readiness classes and workforce development services
  • Individual Case Management services addressing self-identified barriers

Funded by Franklin County Department of Job & Family Services and is FREE to eligible fathers. Offered in Franklin County only.

For more information, contact Jeff Kramer at 614-224-0222 ext. 137

Programs for Mothers

Mothers Matter

This twelve hour course is designed for mothers dedicated to strengthening and honoring the special role they play in the lives of their children. Learn the art of communicating in new ways that will help you better connect with your children and lead to a productive and positive relationship.Topics include: the Art of Listening, Positive Communication, R.E.S.P.E.C.T.ful Discipline, Co-‘Pair’enting, Decision Making and Stress Management.

To learn more about Mothers Matter, click here.

Family Asset Building

As a mother, you have a very special role to play in the life of your child. Being a parent is not easy. If you are struggling to connect or manage your child’s behavior, you are not alone. Learn more about what makes your child tick, and how to bring out the best in them.

Action for Children’s Family Asset Building program is designed to bring mothers together into small group discussions to learn and share experiences about the joys and challenges of being a mother. Through the Mothers Matter curriculum, you will learn about ways to better connect with your child, how to work with your child’s other parent, and how to take care of yourself. You will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Family Engagement Specialist who will help you establish your family and parenting goals and connect you with community resources to help overcome certain barriers and challenges.

This program is funded by Franklin County Children Services and is free to eligible mothers residing in Franklin County. This program is also available to mothers who are more comfortable speaking Spanish.

For more information about programs for mothers, please call 614-224-0222, ext. 119.

Find a detailed schedule of all upcoming parenting classes here, or call 614-224-0222 for additional information.