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Family Education & Support Services

Who We Are

Our mission is “To inspire healthy child development through the provision of quality family support services!”

Family Education and Support Services (FESS) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing the diverse sectors of the populations we serve. Originally incorporated in 1984, the organization was granted tax-exempt status in 2000.


What We Do

Programs offered through our agency are often implemented in collaboration with community partners. We have a variety of family enrichment activities, parent support programs, and parent trainings provided each month. Examples include communication skills for divorcing parents; a 12-week course for developing fathering skills; a 12-week program for mothers with drug and alcohol challenges; monthly programs for relatives who are raising children; parenting classes; and even Zumba for families! Our programs also provide general skill building for parents/caregivers offering help with communication, stress management, and child development.

We recognize that caring for a child can be the most rewarding, but also the most challenging, task for every parent or caregiver. Our services help guide caregivers through the tough times, and we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the many successes. We offer parenting/caregiver classes in collaboration with schools, faith partners, governmental agencies, and other non-profit organizations. We provide on-going support groups for any parent/caregiver who wishes to join with others, enjoy a cup of coffee, and a conversation about parenting. We also offer evidence based parent/caregiver education curriculums intended to support parents in raising healthy children.

Family Education and Support Services (FESS) also provides intensive classes for parents or caregivers who are “system involved.” Parents/caregivers may be referred for specific classes such as “The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children”, or be referred for other intensive classes by Child Protective Services, Family Court, Case Managers, or through a Guardian Ad Litem or CASA worker. Evidence-based curriculum's help parents/caregivers learn about non abusive discipline and guidance techniques, strategies to prevent addiction, methods for increased communication, child development and expectations, and other strategies for healthy family management.

In April 2016 we launched  a new program to Thurston County called "Parent-Child Assistance Program" (PCAP); which provides case management/advocacy to high-risk mothers and their children. PCAP goals are to help mothers who have alcohol and/or drug abuse disorders that impede their ability to care for their children and live healthy functional lives by achieving and maintaining recovery, build healthy family lives and to prevent the births of subsequent alcohol/drug exposed infants .

We also offer support and training for early childhood professionals, foster parents and/or relative caregivers who are caring for a child in Out of Home Care. Our LIFELINE support group for Foster parents is held monthly at the Hands On Children’s Museum and we have Kinship Caregiver support and training programs available nearly every week. Most of our training and support programs include on-site child care, and some services include a concurrent children’s program that engages youth in learning lessons that coincide with the adult topics presented.

Thank you for showing an interest in our organization. Please contact FESS for further information on programs, volunteering or donating. We look forward to hearing from you!!!!