Gentle Steps Foundation and Protective Factors
Julia Mitchell-Hoffman, Founder
Providing the support and motivation for families to stay strong
Gentle Steps Foundation’s programs places the safety of each child at the
center of all we do. Our goal is to
provide education and support to all members of the family to strengthen
behaviors, attitudes and actions that are positive, productive and
Every family goes through difficult and/or challenging times
that require the support of others.
Protective factors are the tools families are provided with as a means
of dealing with or responding to the overwhelming stress families are presented
with and the day to day stressors. Parental
Resilience is realized when families (specifically parents) are faced with
challenging times and they not only work through these times but learn/grow
from their experiences.
Having people who provide support in the means of
compassion, empathy, being there to listen and are there to offer help are vital to a family’s need to
blossom – we call this Social Connections.
Gentle Steps Foundation realizes the importance of the building of
friendships and provides many activities that help to develop this social and
Providing opportunities for parents to engage in discussions
both formally and informally concerning child development and parenting issues
is another core concept of the programs we offer. In some of our programs parents and children
work on a variety of projects together as they learn from each other. All parenting programs are geared to
strengthen the parenting skills in guiding a child’s behavior.
When facing difficulties and challenges we may be unsure of
where we should turn. GSF is also
dedicated to working with other agencies in accepting and providing referrals
for assistance in a number of different areas.
Helping our clients navigate through the system is one way we provide
concrete support and services in times of need.
Children learn mostly through interactions with others and
their environment. Their environment
includes their home, school, place of worship, community and any other activity
that they are involved in. This can
include family, friends, teachers, peers and so on. Like adults, children have feelings and
emotions a d face both happy and difficult times. Learning how to relate to others and the
world around them is not an easy task.
Feelings such as happiness, anger, sadness and even grief are often
experienced by our children. Gentle
Steps Foundation programs encompasses the social and emotional competence of
the child by providing age appropriate activities that encourages children,
adolescents and teens to develop the skills and techniques they need.
There is a vast need for these programs in Knox and Peoria
counties. Gentle Steps Foundation has
the desire to meet the “family’s needs” by offering night time and Saturday
groups, as well as private sessions available.
Parenting groups are offered for new parents; teen parents and for adult
parents. Our early childhood programs
are offered during the day time and once a month on a Saturday. For adolescents and teens programs happen
after school hours.
Join us please in planting seeds of kindness and help
strengthen families so they blossom…