OMAHA, Neb. – Heartland Family Service (HFS) is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $20,000 one-year grant from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of United Way’s Community Investment grant, the HFS Positive Parenting Group program offers community-based education to parents of at-risk youth by using an evidence-based curriculum that promotes a healthy, positive rapport between parent and child.

The Positive Parenting Group helps socially and economically challenged families to engage in improving their parenting skills and to create stronger families. Parenting classes are offered for 12 weeks at a time, and are available in the languages of Spanish, Karen, and English. 43 parents participated in Positive Parenting Group in 2019, and all participants reported an increased knowledge of appropriate parenting skills, as well as a higher level of confidence in their ability to parent.

A Karen refugee, who was very excited to join the group, began participating in Positive Parenting Group classes in the fall of 2019. She was dependent on her children’s ability to translate for her due to a language barrier, and felt she had no choice but to believe what her children told her about school. However, she knew something was not right with her oldest son, as he was acting out, skipping school, and lying to her. By attending classes for Positive Parenting Group, this mother was able to learn new skills to help her better connect with her children and build strong bonds. As a result, her son began to open up to her, and she was able to help him resolve the issues he was experiencing at school.

About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners, and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education, and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

About Heartland Family Service

Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. In 2019, our agency connected with over 60,000 individuals through direct services, education, and outreach. Our programs serve individuals of all ages — from infants in our Family Works program to seniors in our Generations Community Center. We operate from over 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community through the following program areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing, Safety, & Financial Stability.