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Beech Acres Parenting Center celebrates 170th Anniversary

Beech Acres Parenting Center celebrates its 170th anniversary in 2019, having grown from an orphanage at its creation into today’s contemporary parenting center that reaches into the community to serve over 17,000 people annually in Greater Cincinnati.

“We are proud that our mission has endured the test of time...raising children to become capable, caring and contributing adults,” said Jim Mason, president and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center. “This has been accomplished in spite of the rapidly changing, sometimes chaotic world kids find themselves in today.

“We have learned a lot in 170 years,” Mason added. “Children grow up better in their families and communities than in orphanages. Effective parenting is the most important ingredient to a child’s success. And, focusing on one’s natural strengths, for both children and parents, gets better results than trying to fix their problems.”

The center is well known for its vigorous foster care, adoption and kinship care programs, in which hundreds of families provide vital safety nets for children often referred by the public child welfare system because of the risk of neglect, abuse, or dysfunctional parenting.

These services for vulnerable children demonstrate how Beech Acres reaches into the community more than ever in its 170-year history.

“More children today than ever experience significant traumatic experiences early in their lives, such as loss of a parent through divorce, overdose death or incarceration,” Mason said. “More are removed from their homes and placed in foster care and more have diagnosable mental health challenges. The sheer number of children and severity of these problems has required Beech Acres to innovate new services, address the root causes of problems and expand our response to a larger scale as we care for their wellbeing.”

Beech Acres Parenting Center does this in several ways.

Its Beyond the Classroom and The Character Effect programs provide an integrated menu from prevention to targeted treatment services for students and their parents attending selected Greater Cincinnati schools.

Teacher education and support is a cornerstone of the program as well. By supporting all members of a school community, Beech Acres promotes a culture of mindfully focusing on the unique, natural strengths within each of the school’s constituents, both children and adults.

The Character Effect is designed to improve student’s self-control, reduce teacher stress, increase parent engagement, and cultivate an atmosphere of respect for others.

Additionally, Beech Acres parenting specialists are embedded in pediatric practices throughout Greater Cincinnati to connect parents to individualized parenting support through a typical doctor’s visit.

The specialists screen for environmental influences on children’s lives that can lead to poor health outcomes over the long term.

This program, called Parent Connext, has already resulted in 12,000 screenings and over 2,800 coaching sessions since launching in late 2016.

All Beech Acres programs are rooted in its Natural Strength Parenting framework, which enables parents to unlock their own potential by intentionally and mindfully building on their unique strengths.

From a 19th century orphanage to a 21st century parenting center, Beech Acres continually innovates to meet the rapidly changing demands and pressures of a complex society, all within its steadfast mission of helping the community raise capable, caring, contributing children.

Peter Osborne

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