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The mission of the Parenting Network, an organization that has operated in Milwaukee since 1976, is to prevent child abuse.

It's the belief of the people who run the nonprofit that child abuse isn't something that can be obliterated without addressing the underlying issues involved. That's why the focus of the Parenting Network is to strengthen families.

The resources the organization provides to parents in the Milwaukee area to strengthen families include the following.

1. Educators go into schools to teach the kids about sex education since a key part of having a strong family is to avoid starting a family until you're ready for it.

2. There is a parent helpline for parents who need somewhere to turn for sound advice when they're in the trenches trying to be good parents.

3. The Parenting Network organizers agree with City of Milwaukee officials who emphasize the importance of home visits in providing individualized case management for families who need more intensive help strengthening their families.

4. The organization also provides a number of support groups and classes for parents and children. Both series of classes and single classes are available, which emphasize different facets of building strong families (such as the importance of dads, things to keep in mind when welcoming a new baby, healthy discipline practices, and raising kids with special needs).

The Parenting Network is advertising one of its current offerings, Strengthening Families for parents and their children ages 10-14. In this series of classes, parents and kids come together to talk, learn and have family meals together. The class takes place weekly from Novemer 6 through December 18.

For more information about current class offerings, the parenting helpline, and other resources provided by the Parenting Network, check out their website.

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