This week I have had the privilege of being exposed to the ACE Awareness Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.
Universal Parenting Place in Memphis
The Memphis community has a history of emotional and relational wounding over many years within their culture. The city has gone through such challenges and has had so many obstacles to overcome. Yet like many trauma-impacted communities they are showing signs of life and resilience.
One breath of fresh air to the Memphis community has been the Ace Awareness Foundation. Ellen Rolfes has taken the lead in raising the impact of ACES to individuals and families. One of the unique and heart-warming programs that they offer are the Universal Parenting Places. Below is how they describe these centers.
Judgement-Free Zones for Parents
“Universal Parenting Places are judgment-free zones where parents can receive professional counseling, information and emotional support for family-related issues or concerns, no matter how small. UPPs are administered by the ACE Awareness Foundation in partnership with Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Knowledge Quest. ” (http://aceawareness.org/universal-parenting-places/)
This is such a wonderful, fresh and much-needed program!
Parents can come for support and parenting and trauma knowledge, to participate in activities with their children or even to just can hang out, have a cup of coffee and be able to regulate themselves and their kids from the hectic role of parenting in an urban community. The staff in these programs genuinely care about the parents in their community and the trauma they may have been exposed to and are engaging and professional, offering professional and compassionate support for parents in their centers. It is such a beautiful concept for a community and adds so much positive impact to the children and their parents.
With parenting being such a difficult job and role, and often the impact of trauma added to the mix, what a model UPP is for other communities. In many communities, this role of parenting is overwhelming and parents are often so isolated which adds to the difficulty. A community resource like this would greatly help those types of families needing support, structure, knowledge and care.
What a wonderful, enriching, safe place this program creates for parents and their children!
I want to give glowing acknowledgement and affirmation to the ACE Awareness Foundation for establishing such a wonderful environment for parents and children where they can feel safe, cared for and guided through the difficult moments of parenting their children within their respective communities. What an inspiration!
Gerry Vassar – President/CEO, Lakeside