Family Builders is a nonprofit organization that provides classes and workshops to parents and children to raise awareness of possible predators. It also is working to retrain parents on how to be better parents and role models.
“Our philosophy is that everyone learns to parent the way they were parented,” said Laura Gamble, executive director of Family Builders. “So our job is to break that cycle and help parents learn how to provide a safe, loving and nurturing home for their children.”
Two parenting programs offered are: Nurturing Parenting Skills and Compassion Workshop. Each workshop is 12 weeks and is there to teach parents how to respectfully raise their children and to control their emotions.
Another program Family Builders provides is the Batterer’s Intervention Program that focuses on retraining thinking patterns and addresses issues of power and control. It is a 52-week program geared towards perpetrators of domestic violence.
“It focuses on people taking responsibility for their own actions and learning that someone can’t make you act a certain way,” Gamble said.
Family Builders offers a Community Education program as well, which is designed to educate the public on what each person can do to stop they cycle of abuse and violence in the community. Some aspects focus on teaching people how to recognize and report child abuse, while others help parents keep their children safe from sexual predators. Starting this summer, this program will also have an emphasis towards children called Kids on the Block, which will use puppets to teach children about abuse and bullying.
“We’re out in the community presenting those presentations and we’ll go anywhere we need to,” Gamble said.
Started in 1976 and originally called Parents Assistance Center, Family Builders was founded by Anne Hardy, a social worker who saw a need for extra support services for parents.
“Back then there weren’t any services like what we provide,” Gamble said. “She literally started it around her kitchen table.”
On Thursday, Family Builders will host the Anyone Can Be a Hero Fundraising Luncheon at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. Since funding is always an issue, a fundraiser such as this is very important.
The Department of Human Services, the court system and social service agencies each refer families to the programs of Family Builders, allowing it to help 1,500 to 2,000 people a year. And through its community education programs, Gamble estimates Family Builders reach several thousand people a year.
“We measure success by changes in people’s attitudes and their knowledge about parenting from the time they start to the time they finish,” Gamble said. “We’re breaking the cycle of violence and changing people’s lives and families lives for generations to come.”
415 NW 5th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73102