I have been an Exchange Club member since 1989, but I didn't really know what the Exchange Club Family Skills Center did until I joined the board. The Family Skills Center is the "Instruction Book" you don't get when you get your bundle of joy at the hospital. The center can answer all those questions about how to nurture your child and give them the best parenting there is. The classes help protect our most valuable asset, our children.
About 18 years ago, I heard a horrifying story on the local radio station in Birmingham, Alabama about how twin girls who were 5 yrs old, were found in an apartment, living in a dog crate and in their own feces. Because they were so under nourished and living in a dog crate, they were only the size of about 2 year olds. This story broke my heart! I could not live on this earth without at least trying to make a difference when it came to child abuse. I immediately called the United Way to ask where I could volunteer to help with child abuse prevention. I was led to The Exchange Club Family Skills Center in Birmingham, Alabama. I have seen the hours and hours of tireless dedication of the social workers, the Executive Director, the staff members and the Board of Directors at this organization. They are all truly connected to the community (Jefferson and Shelby Counties) and they will do whatever it takes to educate, communicate and save families. They have numerous programs and all of the parenting classes are FREE of charge!!!! They have the Nurturing Program, the Positive Parenting Groups, the Parent Aide Program, the Speaker's Bureau and Parents as Teachers (PAT). They have seminars on Shaken Baby Syndrome and Child Safety Resource Fairs. The Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse was formed through the dedication, support and commitment of Alabama members of The Exchange Club, a National Service Organization whose primary focus is child abuse prevention. In 1987, clients were able to receive services from the Parent Aide program in an office at Eastside Mental Health Center. Also, in 1988, The Exchange Club merged with the local Parents Anonymous Chapter, which brought the establishment of a new program, Positive Parenting groups. In 1998, the center started doing business as The Exchange Club Family Skills Center. If you know of a child at risk, please recommend the parents or the custodians seek the services of this organization immediately. If you know of a parent who's struggling to get it all done in this fast paced world, this is the place to turn. If you know of a single parent who is having a hard time juggling homework, baths, extra-curricular activities for their family, Exchange Club will help them. If you know someone who is truly trying to break the cycle of abuse, there is not better place for them to turn than The Exchange Club. When families struggle financially, sometimes their frustrations may be turned towards the ones they love the most. Tell them to seek the professoinals at Exchange Club.