From 2010 to 2014, the State of Massachusetts experienced a 30% increase in the number of children who were victims of maltreatment. In the year 2014, the majority of these victims were less than a year old. There is no doubt that the mistreatment of children is a serious problem plaguing Massachusetts as well as many other states across the country. Luckily, there are non-profit organizations such as Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts (“PHP”) which strive to prevent child abuse by providing free parental help and support. PHP has two primary services available toparents: parental support groups and a parental stress line.
Parental support groups provide a safe environment for parents to discuss their experiences and receive non-judgmental feedback. Each group is run by a facilitator who will determine the topic of discussion for that week’s meeting. There are approximately eighteen group locations throughout Massachusetts and every group meets once a week for a period of one and a half hours, with the exception of the Springfield location which meets bi-monthly. Some locations even have child care available during the meetings. These support groups are open to all and are free of cost. Additionally, the organization provides a written guide for those parents whose children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families to help them better understand the process and their options.
The second service offered by PHP is the parental stress line. This confidential, toll-free hotline allows parents to call in with child related issues and receive support and advice from trained volunteers. This service is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. While raising children is extremely difficult, there are great resources within the community such as Parents Helping Parents that provide non-judgmental support. If you are facing difficulties in taking care of your children or just need someone to talk to, contact PHP today.