Connecting With Others in Your Neighborhood
Raising a healthy family is a tough job. You probably can’t—and shouldn’t—do it on your own. Having other families and friends to talk to, spend time with and share resources and information can help you be a better caregiver and support your own well being. If you don’t already have a strong network of family, friends and community members, you can build one. Here are some good places to start:
- Neighborhood associations: Many urban neighborhoods in particular have volunteer associations in which residents meet to discuss crime, safety, development and other issues affecting the neighborhood. Members usually have established connections with local law enforcement and service providers and are willing to advocate for neighbors in need. Many distribute newsletters: look for one on your door step. Check online or on the bulletin boards at your public library to find out how to contact your neighborhood association, or ask a neighbor. If your neighborhood doesn’t have an association, consider organizing one.
- Neighborhood offices: Some communities operate neighborhood offices where residents can register to vote, apply for social services and get information about utilities providers.
- Your child’s school: Make a point to talk with teachers and counselors when you visit the school or during drop-off and pick-up times. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Participate in family nights at the school—this is a great way to meet other parents and caregivers and have some inexpensive, educational fun for your whole family.
- Check a local newsweekly or free parenting magazine for listings of classes, activities and support groups where you’d be likely to meet other families in your area.
- Your local Boys & Girls Club: Many Clubs provide family support services and classes and resources for parents and caregivers. Most also host family nights and other activities you can attend with your child. Use these opportunities to connect with Club staff and other parents and caregivers.