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Parenting Skills

Saint Anthony Hospital is the "go-to" organization for new parents.

Our Community Wellness Program promotes the social, emotional, and intellectual development of young children as well as strong, healthy, parent-child attachments. Three free services provide an informal continuum of developmental support for both children and their parents: the Developmental Support Project, the Little Explorers play group, and the ACT against Violence workshops.

Developmental Support Project

The goal of our Developmental Support Project (DSP) is to promote improved developmental care and outcomes for children birth-to-eight years of age seen by Saint Anthony Hospital’s affiliated physicians. To accomplish this, DSP provides:

  • training and technical assistance on developmentally oriented best practices to pediatricians and family practice physicians and
  • direct support to the physicians’ young patients and their families related to developmental and behavioral concerns.

Our child development specialists link children to the local Early Intervention and Chicago Public Schools systems; to rehabilitation services, like speech therapy; to Early Head Start and Head Start programs; and to other developmental and educational programs. 

In 2014, DSP was named a "Program of Excellence" during Jackson Healthcare's Hospital Charitable Service Awards in Atlanta, Georgia. 

We need a referral from the child's physician before he can participate in DSP. Then our child development specialists work with the children and their families over the telephone, in our office, or in the children's home.

Physicians: Download the Referral Form 

Parents: Call our Little Village office at 773.523.5079 for more information.

Little Explorers, an Interactive Parent-Child Play Group

The goals of Little Explorers are to:

  • increase parents’ confidence in their parenting abilities,
  • advance the optimal development of the children in the group,
  • address specific developmental needs of the children, and
  • help decrease isolation and increase opportunities for parents and children to socialize.

Little Explorers meets once a week for two hours at St. Agnes Church in Little Village. Each week includes:

  • semi-structured play time for children and parents,
  • structured parent-child activities that promote the various areas of development,
  • parent coaching to help them become more responsive to their children’s needs,
  • modeling positive discipline strategies for inappropriate behaviors, and
  • information sharing related to child development.

The group is for both mothers and fathers and their children between 1 and 36 months of age.

Space at St. Agnes is limited; pre-registration is required by calling +1.773.523.5079

Adults and Children Together (ACT) Parent Education Group

Adults and Children Together (ACT): Parents Raising Safe Kids was developed by the American Psychological Association.

The goals of ACT are to improve parents’ (and other primary caregivers’) parenting skills and practices that protect children from violence by increasing their knowledge of:

  • basic elements of child development,
  • roots and consequences of violence in the lives of children,
  • protective factors and skills related to violence prevention, and
  • how to become involved in school and community efforts related to violence prevention.

ACT is a free, 9-to-11 week, education workshop for parents with children up to the age of eight. Topics include:

  • understanding child development,
  • motivational interviewing,
  • children and violence,
  • anger awareness and anger management,
  • Positive conflict resolution,
  • positive discipline, and
  • decreasing media influence on children.

Free child care is provided as often as possible in order to support both parents’ consistent attendance and full participation. As appropriate, activities for the children are incorporated in the workshops while their parents attend the group.

We offer ACT in both English and Spanish.

Learn how to reduce violence in your child’s life, and how to strengthen your relationship with your child. Day, times, and locations vary. Calling +1.773.523.5079 (Little Village) or +1.773.522.5299 (North Lawndale) to find out when our next ACT workshop is scheduled.