One social program that provides instruction and support for a person's parenting skills is that of Head Start. Having begun in 1994, Head Start provides childcare and pre-school developmental programs and early childhood education that help small children become ready for kindergarten. In addition to these services, Head Start programs also engage parents and provide instruction in order to assist them in becoming healthy, productive parents. Areas of instruction covered by Head Start are thorough; with Head Start parents are taught are how to
- Be their child's first teacher
- Participate in their child's educational program
- Get involved with NHA opportunities to join policy-making assemblies to build decision-making skills
- Participate in groups and in leadership
- Develop and enhance life skills necessary for the family's self-sufficiency.
The Department of Human Resources also provides support for parents with counseling and parenting education . In El Paso, Texas, for instance, there is a Center for Fathering that has educational and support services. One service is that of workshops and seminars that instruct fathers how to be more positively and actively involved in the lives of their children. These services even extend to incarcerated fathers, offering counseling and instruction on how they can develop a paternal rapport with their children when they are released.
Another agency that provides services and instruction for parents is the United Way Parent Services Center, Inc. Working on the local level, this agency provides parents with educational opportunities, and the support and necessary resources for parenting with the goal of strengthening families.