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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 empowering.  

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 emotional connection.


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…
 

 

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