Metropolitan Family Services (MFS) is one of three Get IN Chicago grantees currently receiving support for evidence-based parent leadership programs.  The team at MFS uses the Parenting Fundamentals model with caregivers in Englewood, Roseland, and most recently, South Shore.  In addition to leading the curriculum for hundreds of parents in those communities over the past three years, the MFS parent  program is also actively engaged in partnerships with a variety of local community groups, businesses, and projects.  Learn more about a member of the MFS staff – Warsheka Griffin, Parenting Fundamentals educator.

Warsheka Griffin from Metropolitan Family Services

 

How did you start working with parents?
My journey working with parents actually started when my children were in elementary school – when I was a parent advocate and chairperson of the Local School Council and Parent Advisory Council. I was referred by someone who worked with Chicago Public Schools (Network 11) that thought that I would be a great fit to be a parent educator.

What are your responsibilities with the Parenting Fundamentals program?
My responsibilities with the Parenting Fundamentals program are to provide parents with positive parenting skills needed to raise physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy children. I schedule and provide home visit sessions with my parents. I make sure that my parents are aware of different programs throughout the community. I collaborate with other community partner within Metropolitan Family Services and outside partners as well. One of my main responsibilities is to make sure that I touch the lives of my parents.

What has been the most inspiring thing you’ve seen or learned in your work with families and caregivers? 
Over the last couple of years, the most inspiring thing I’ve seen is working with parents who want something better for their families. It’s so amazing to have parents in my classes that are twice my age but still trust and believe in me. I’ve learned that the parents just want someone to listen to them and vent: I am able to give them the opportunity to be great and speak life into them. I’ve seen many of my parents rise above their situations by going through the parenting classes.

 

parents in the Get IN Chicago Parenting Fundamentals class at Altgeld Gardens

Warsheka Griffin (far left) with graduates from a recent Parenting Fundamentals class in Altgeld Gardens.

 

What excites you about your work?
What excites me about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to help people. I’m able to interact with people in all walks of life. I’m able to reach parents with a warm heart and a open mind. One of the biggest highlight of my classes is when my parents approach me to say “Thank you… I didn’t realize what I was doing was wrong.”  I get teary eyed when I know that I made a difference in a household. Being able to speak life into people who let me into their lives – people who started the classes by not having a clue about who I was – it means a lot.

Anything else to add?
It has been a great pleasure working with Parenting Fundamentals. I’ve been with Parenting Fundamentals for three years and can say that it has been a pure joy being a part of a team that works together to create memories with our parents. I thank my supervisor Katharine Bensinger for trusting in me to do a job that requires a lot of patience and hard work.