Guest Column: Resource Center aims to support parents

Published 6:57 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Live United by Gema Alvarado-Guerrero

The Parenting Resource Center celebrated its 40th anniversary this past August. As the executive director, I am very proud of the fact that we have been serving parents for four decades, making positive connections and identifying resources and referrals for families in need. During this period, the PRC (as we call it for short) has greatly expanded. Below is a recap of the wonderful services that we offer.

Gema Alvarado-Guerrero

The Parenting Resource Center Inc. has three main subdivisions: Parenting Resource Center, Catherwood Home Child Care, and the Michael H. Seibel Family Visitation and Exchange Center. The Parenting Resource Center recognizes that while parenting is the most rewarding job we will ever have, it can also be the most challenging. Therefore, all our projects and programs are aimed to support parents and caregivers, so they then can create a healthy home environment for their children. Currently, the center holds 14 different projects and programs, which primarily serve Mower and Freeborn counties, with one program servicing 11 counties in southeast Minnesota. Having over 30 staff at all times, we currently hold staff that can speak Spanish, Karen, Burmese, German and Polynesian.

Email newsletter signup

The Parenting Resource Centers offers group and individual parent education, Specialty Library, Parent2Parent Mentor program, the Parent WarmLine and Crisis Nursery. We also hold five Parents Forever Divorce Education sessions each year and individually for those who need the sessions held in Spanish in Austin.

Catherwood is our day care facility located on 707 Fourth St. NW in Austin. Catherwood is unique because it offers nontraditional hours; we open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. until the last child leaves on second shift, which sometimes can be around 1 a.m. Oftentimes, we stay open 24 hours if parents must work overtime. Catherwood currently assists three families who reside in Freeborn County, and is our primary care home for our Crisis Nursery program.

The Michael H. Seibel Family Visitation and Exchange Center, or Seibel Center for short, is our monitored visitation and exchange center. Opened in 2008, this resource is available to parents and caregivers, including grandparents or foster parents and their children who have separation conflict. What this means is that the center will appoint a security monitor to facilitate exchanges or visitations to alleviate any conflict. An exchange is defined as transferring a child from one parent to the other. A supervised visitation is defined as a parent using our visitation room to visit their children under a supervision of a security monitor. At any given time, the Seibel Center services approximately 30 families which equates to a minimum 90 clients.

Gema Alvarado-Guerrero is the executive director of the Parenting Resource Center in Austin. If you would like to talk with a parenting specialist about family challenges, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204. For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599.