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Good parenting takes time, energy, patience ... and a sense of humor. To help you with your parenthood journey, the following resource connections will give you the tools, tips and support you need to successfully handle what life "throws" your way.
Use the bulleted links below to quickly access the information you want.
  • Parenting
  • Support Groups
  • Programs
  • Individual/Family Counseling
  • Every family is different, and every child has individual needs, strengths, and interests. If you want to connect with other families during a parenting class or speak one–on-one with a specialist, resources are available. Topics such as: child development, discipline strategies, lactation support, parental stress, and sleeping issues are some of the areas addressed. Through interactions and discussions, you will be able to get information and implement strategies that work for your family.
    • Boot Camp for New Dads - This workshop, held at Sarasota Memorial Hospital is a great opportunity for expectant dads to obtain the insights of veteran dads on the challenges of becoming a father.
    • Learn To Be A Great Dad - Whether you are a new dad, an expectant dad, a step dad, granddad, a married dad or single dad, the Nurturing Dad’s Initiative by Children First can help good dads to become great dads.
    • Parenting Classes - Forty Carrots Family Center offers a full array of parenting education programs designed to help families create environments that nurture healthy minds, compassionate hearts, and responsible behavior. 
      -Forty Carrots Family Center, Welcome to Our World is a free class for parents and babies to explore topics that are relevant in a supportive, fun and informative way. Forty Carrots also offers a class called Circle of Security for parents involved in the judicial system, many of which do not have custody of their children.  Parents complete a series of five evening classes, meeting court requirements for parenting classes to address custody concerns.
      -Healthy Start also offers parenting education classes for Healthy Start clients who want to learn more about how to become a good parent. 
      -Birthways Family Birth Center offers many classes and events to meet your growing needs during pregnancy and early parenthood.  Birthways follows the Midwives Model of Care, which is a fundamentally different approach to childbirth.
      -Rosemary Birthing Home also provides a full series of prenatal classes. Topics include birth, labor, active labor, pushing, post partum, breastfeeding and more.
      -Suncoast Le Leche hosts monthly enrichment meeting in Sarasota about a wide variety of parenting topics such as baby-wearing, nutrition, discipline, schooling options, etc.
    • Parents of Newborns - can rely on Sarasota Memorial Hospital to learn baby care and breastfeeding basics, infant CPR, and how to properly install your baby’s car seat.
    • Parent/Child Socialization Play Groups Sarasota County Libraries . offers a variety of programs for parents/caregivers and their children, from story time to play groups. 
      -Partners in Play by Forty Carrots is a class held at the library that follows an engaging curriculum that allows parents to share meaningful playtime with their children.
      -First Presbyterian Preschool presents Small Beginning classes that introduce babies and toddlers (up to 30 months) to a pre-school atmosphere with the comfort of mommy, daddy or caretaker present.
      -The Gan School offers a Mommy & Me program for parents and their toddlers that is designed to enhance your child's social, emotional, and intellectual development.

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    Many parents find it helpful to share their joys, successes, and frustrations with other parents. Support groups are comprised of people all sharing similar experiences and concerns. These groups come together to celebrate events in their lives and talk about challenges and offer support. Volunteers who have personal experience in the subject of the group's focus organize some support groups. Other support groups are facilitated by professionals.
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder Help - The Center for Autism Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.) is a nonprofit organization based in Bradenton aimed to meet the ever-growing needs of our community members who are facing autism and related disorders.
    • Celiac Support - The Gluten Intolerance Group is committed to helping those with celiac disease and their families manage life without gluten through support, understanding and knowledge.
    • Breastfeeding Support - The Suncoast La Leche League's mission is to provide mother-to-mother support and breastfeeding information to all mothers and mother-to-be. La Leche Leauge supports a style of parenting that includes the idea that a mother is most sensitive to her infant's needs when breastfeeding.
    • Family Support for Down Syndrome - Manasota BUDS is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides programs, services and support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
    • Holistic Health & Green Living - Sarasota, FL Area Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network is a diverse group of holistic moms from throughout Sarasota and surrounding areas.  All moms and dads with an interest in holistic health and green living are welcome!
    • Home Schooling Support - Learning & Families is a Christian home school support group serving families in and around Sarasota and Bradenton.  Learning & Families provides educational opportunities for both home school parents and for their children; in addition to being a community of support and encouragement. 
    • Parents of Multiples - is an online magazine and virtual support group providing resources for parents of twins and multiples.
    • Parent/Child Socialization Play Groups - Sarasota County Library offers a variety of programs for parents/caregivers and their children, from story time to play groups. 
      -Library Drop-ins by Forty Carrots are classes held at the library that follow an engaging curriculum that allows parents to share meaningful playtime with their children.
      -First Presbyterian Preschool presents Small Beginning classes that introduce babies and toddlers (up to 30 months) to a pre-school atmosphere with the comfort of mommy, daddy or caretaker present.
      -The Gan School offers a Mommy & Me program for parents and their toddlers that is designed to enhance your child's social, emotional, and intellectual development.
    • Support Network For Moms, Dads And Babies - Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Mommies and Babies Get Together program brings moms, with their babies, together weekly to share joys, frustrations, tips and companionship.
      -More connecting supportive opportunities await parents at Forty Carrots Family Center, Welcome to Our World, is a weekly free class for newborns and their parents.
      -Nurturing Dad's Initiative teaches fathers the nurturing skills and attitudes necessary for successful parenting. The class assists groups and individuals who are interested in supporting father involvement and raises awareness about the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families.
      -Birthways Family Birth Center provides opportunities for new parents to meet with other new parents so that they can share the joys and tribulations of parenthood.
      -Rosemary Birthing Home offers a Mom’s Group and more to connect and support mothers to be strong, competent and capable.

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    There are a number of programs and services available in Sarasota to help you along your parenting journey, from support for Mom's with new babies to programs that help moms reach their employment goals.
    • Breast Feeding Support - Sometimes, moms need help learning to breastfeed or need support.  To get the help you need visit Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County and Sarasota Memorial Hospital today!  You and your baby will be glad that you did.    
    • Children's Respite Services - Easter Seals of Southwest Florida's Project Rainbow provides support to medically fragile, chronically ill and disabled children and their families by providing respite care (both in-home and community-based), special activities and events as well as case management and family support.
      -Also offering respite services is Sarasota/Manatee Respite Services (SMRS).  This  program is currently serving children between the ages birth to 18 years. 
    • Family Life Education - Jewish Family & Children's Services of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc. offers educational programs designed to enrich family life and prevent problems before they happen.
      -MOMS Club of Sarasota is a non-profit organization located in Sarasota and is made up of mothers who are looking to make new friends and become more active.  Most of the activities of the MOMS Club take place during the day because this is the time when many moms are on their own.
    • Mothers Helping Mothers - If you're a mom and need help, or can help, with baby items or clothing from infant through teen sizes and more connect with Mothers Helping Mothers
    • Moms Preparing for Career Readiness - Women who are interested in developing their career readiness skills in anticipation of re-entering the work place can find the help they need at Children's First.
    • Resources for Women  - The Women's Resource Center help women create independent lifestyles by identifying problems, locating appropriate resources and creating a plan to aid in solving the problems. 

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    Many parents today experience situations that make parenting difficult. Divorce, financial concerns, challenging child behaviors, and family stressors such as abuse and addiction lead families to seek support. Individual and family counseling can help parents make positive changes, provide assistance in managing childhood behaviors, and provide additional support needed to help face life's challenges.
    • Child & Family Therapy Forty Carrots Child & Family Therapy provides mental health services for the entire family. Through child and family centered approaches, young children, adolescents and families are offered support as they encounter life’s challenges. General and specialized therapeutic services are available including play therapy, infant mental health, family therapy and drama therapy.
    • Family/Marital Counseling - The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Inc.  offers full assessments of a family's situation and help to restore balance, resolve problems and teach skills that enrich family life.
      -Healthy Start offers counseling for Healthy Start clients who are experiencing stress or serious problems affecting their ability to cope with parenting.
      -Jewish Family & Children's Service of Sarasota-Manatee Incorporated's licensed professionals are here to help you and your family to get back on track.  Helping with all family issues, including divorce, unemployment, depression, substance abuse and more.
    • Family Focused Infant/Young Child Mental Health Therapy - Specializing in infant young children's mental health, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Inc.   provides mental health services for children from birth through age eight and their family member.
    • Family Help for Physical Abuse - Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center provides free and confidential programs and services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.  Programs and services include a 24-Hour Hotline, Crisis Counseling, Safety Planning, Children's Services, Transitional Housing, Hospital and Court Advocacy and Case Management.
    • Healthy Families/Healthy Children - Jewish Family & Children's Services of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc. offer a free program for couples to work on building relationship skills that have a positive impact on raising their children.
    • Mental Health Counseling - Coastal Behavioral Healthcare offers a wide range of services designed to meet the needs of adults and children suffering with mental health illnesses. 
    • Women's Counseling - The Women's Resource Center offers peer counseling provided by volunteers trained in active listening and community resources.
    • Sexual Abuse Treatment - The Child Protection Center of Sarasota offers a therapeutic program in Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for children and families who have reported and documented sexual abuse. A supportive system of non-offending parents and children committed to healing the wounds of sexual abuse.
    • Substance Abusing Moms - If you're pregnant and have a substance abuse problem or know someone who does, First Step of Sarasota's Mother's and Infants program can help.
    • Substance Abuse Treatment - Coastal Behavioral Healthcare offers a number of programs and services dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from addictions and the people who love them.
      -First Step of Sarasota offers a variety of programs including medical detox, residential and outpatient services.

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