The Family Institute

The Family Institute A parent education program

The Howard County Family Institute is a parent education program of the Office of Children and Families, Department of Community Resources and Services. We offer informational sessions and training workshops for parents on many topics, including child development, positive discipline, finding resources, and adolescent issues. Click here to view some of the workshops we have offered. To suggest topics for future workshops or to learn more, please email or call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay). 



Worries, Concerns & Apprehension

Even in the Elementary years, schoolwork, friends, reactions to negative experiences, or just the anticipation of something happening can overwhelm a child. With all of these everyday occurrences, many parents report about the anxiety and stress that it puts on their children and the entire family.

Attend this workshop to:

• Review the signs and the symptoms of worry in children
• Understand how to identify what is causing your child stress
• Learn techniques to teach and demonstrate strategies to help your child...process and work through their worries

Ask questions to a mental health professional on how to help your family

Emotional resiliency helps both academic and personal life skills!

When: Thursday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ducketts Lane Elementary School, 6501 Ducketts Lane, Elkridge, MD 21075
Cost: FREE; Space is limited; pre-registration is preferred
Who Should Attend: Parents, Grandparents & Guardians (NO Child Care)
Register Online for Worries, Concerns & Apprehension

Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940



Friendship Skills for School and Life Success

Social skills are at the top of the list of important skills for school success. Parents can have a strong impact on their children’s social/emotional development to help their children learn positive interpersonal skills that breed both success in developing friendships as well as the “side effect” of stronger academic skills.  Learn ways to intentionally impart this critical school and life skill.

• Understand how your child can make friends, build friendships and solve friendship conflicts.  
• Become aware of friendship tools and resources available to help your child. 
• Help children navigate peer pressure and build stronger self-esteem skills.

When: Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Where: Cradlerock Elementary, 6700 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21046
FREE, Register for Friendship Skills for School and Life Success




Behavior Basics and Managing Meltdowns

Do tantrums, power struggles and misbehavior make daily life difficult in your household?

Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (SEFEL) is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all the factors that impact a child and family. Learn how to teach your child new skills to replace challenging behaviors. Learn how to set the stage to decrease negative behaviors from happening in the first place and what to do when they do occur. Leave this 2-part workshop with skills and resources that you can use immediately that will help you feel more confident in your parenting.

When: Saturday; January 19th  &  Saturday; January 26th
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Location: Howard County Office of Children and Families, 9830 Patuxent Woods Dr.,  Columbia, MD 21046 (Room 338)
Cost: $18
Who Should Attend: Parents, Grandparents & anyone involved with children ages 1-6
Registration Online for Behavior Basics and Managing Meltdowns
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940 


Powerful Tools for Caregivers for the Parents of Children with Disabilities

Are you the parent of a child with disabilities? We are excited to offer Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC), an evidence-based program designed with the parent's well-being in mind.  

This six-week series of 2 hour classes offers parents opportunities to explore a variety of self-care tools in a supportive environment, designed to help you:

  • reduce personal stress
  • change negative self-talk
  • communicate more effectively in challenging situations
  • manage your emotions
  • make tough caregiver decisions

If you are the parent of a child with disabilities, we encourage you to register today! Our goal is to improve the lives of parents (and ultimately their children) through outreach, conversation, training, and resources.

When: January 15 through February 19 (six consecutive Tuesdays) from 6-8 pm

Location:  Ellicott City 50+ Center9401 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Cost:  $30, fee covers all materials

Who Should Attend? Parents/Caregivers of children with disabilities

For more information or to register, contact Kathy Wehr at 410-313-5955 or

View the flyer for PTC for Parents of Children with Disabilities


 To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodation to attend a workshop, call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay) at least one week in advance.




Parent Pages Newsletter

Parent Pages is a family newsletter published by the Howard County Office of Children and Families. Each quarterly issue features news and tips from many of the programs in our office, including the Local Children's Board, Parents as Teachers, the CARE Center, Healthy Kids, and more. Parent Pages is a part of the Howard County Family Institute, an education and community outreach program. View the current issue, if you need this publication in an alternate format, please call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay). Would you like to be notified of upcoming Family Institute workshops? Sign-Up to receive Parent Pages e-newsletter and updates.


The Office of Children and Families is a division of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services. We post updates on training classes, information on upcoming events, and reminders about parent workshops on the Community Resources and Services Facebook page. You'll also find posts from other divisions of Community Resources and Services; The Office on Aging and Independence, Disabilities Services, and Consumer Protection. We hope you'll "like" us!