New Center Offers Programs to Strengthen Families Through Parenting Education

More than just a health crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a long-term impact on our families and youth worldwide.

By Angela Barbosa

More than just a health crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a long-term impact on our families and youth worldwide. Parenting has become more challenging; it requires continuous learning and growth to cope and to respond to a child’s needs. 

Many factors can adversely impede a parent's ability to meet the demands of parenthood, such as problems with physical or mental health, lack of coping or relationship skills, substance abuse, lack of financial security, and high levels of stress, among others. 

On February 2, the Saint Joseph Parenting Center (SJPC), a 501(c)3 organization, originally based in Stamford, opened its second center, now in Danbury, CT. With a mission to strengthen families that are at risk of child abuse and neglect, the Center intends to equip parents with the education, tools, and resources to change unhealthy parenting patterns and to foster healthy ones in an effort to decrease the incidence of child abuse and neglect.  

In an exclusive interview, Danbury SJPC’s Director Crystal Perkins shares information about the Center’s programs and opportunities that can benefit parents along the parenting journey. 


Tribuna - What is SJPC's core mission?  

Crystal Perkins - Our mission is to strengthen families that are at risk of child abuse and neglect, by providing parenting education and support.


Tribuna - How do you believe our diverse community can benefit from SJPC's programs? 

Crystal Perkins - Anyone can benefit from the classes offered because a wide array of topics are covered that focus on general life skills, child development, nutrition, and health and wellness for both parent and child.


Tribuna - What are some of the programs currently available and who can participate? Are there fees to partake in the programs/classes? 

Crystal Perkins - The Danbury office is currently offering the following programs, which are free to every participant and offered in English and Spanish. The only requirement is to have at least one child aged 12 or younger. The General Parenting Program is open to all parents, mothers, and fathers, and offers 28 different parenting classes. The 24/7 Dad Program aims to connect fathers in a safe space to share their experiences and learn about their crucial role as fathers. The program consists of 11 parenting classes, with topics that include learning healthy communications, co-parenting strategies, child development, and discipline strategies.  


Tribuna: Do you offer bilingual staff? 

Crystal Perkins - Yes, SJPC has a bilingual case manager available to all parents.


Tribuna - How can one volunteer? 

Crystal Perkins - The greatest need is for bilingual facilitators but there are many ways to serve. If interested, please email our Volunteer Manager at or call 203.273.5622.


Tribuna - What parents should know about SJPC? 

Crystal Perkins - We love people first, believe all individuals deserve respect, and focus on the child. We believe empowerment is the key to our parents’ success and that everyone needs a family. We listen and then respond and strive for excellence.


Tribuna - What is your personal vision of the impact of parenting education on deterring child abuse and neglect? 

Crystal Perkins - Parenting is challenging. I believe having a strong support system can make a difference. My personal vision is that every parent who recognizes the challenges of parenting, and wants or needs help, receives it so that every child will have a healthy, strong family and a safe home.


Sharing some parents’ testimonies - (For confidentiality purpose, only their initials will be cited here):

“The most impactful thing I've learned from SJPC is that children don't act out just to annoy their parents. They act out when they are unable to verbalize their feelings and emotions and instead of getting frustrated with them, it is important to try and find out what is bothering them to deescalate the situation. I highly recommend SJPC to other parents. I tell them that we can all use the support from the classes and case managers to improve our parenting skills and that taking classes from SJPC doesn't mean that they are bad parents. It means that they care about their relationship with their children and want to learn to be the best parents they can be,” shared A.V.


“This class helped my everyday life by teaching me I have a role in my son’s life, and I am someone,” said S.D.C.


The new Saint Joseph Parenting Center branch is located at the Sacred Heart Parish Center,46 Stone Street, Danbury, CT. For more information about its history, programs, or ways to volunteer and donate, please visit