Parenting isn't always intuitive, and many parents need help maneuvering childhood and its many changes and challenges. Here are some organizations that can help, with parenting classes, baby sign language, counseling, education resources, nutrition information, socialization skills and lots more.
Agenda for Children (2486 Florida St., Mandeville, 985-624-2950; 8300 Earhart Blvd., Suite 201; 504-586-8509; www.agendaforchildren.org) — The nonprofit advocacy and service organization helps parents find appropriate child care, holds training sessions for parents, has violence prevention programs and health insurance initiatives.
Autism Society of Greater New Orleans (504-464-5733; www.asgno.org) — The group focuses on educational opportunities for children with autism, referral and support services and information for families. It also hosts an art program for autistic children, sensory-friendly films, and family game nights.
Center for Development & Learning (1 Galleria Blvd., Suite 903, Metairie, 504-840-9786; www.cdl.org) — The nonprofit organization presents guides to Louisiana State Standards in education and overviews of what children should learn by grade level in English Language Arts (ELA). There also are teen parenting programs and information about early childhood development, learning issues and social skills.
Child Adolescent Response Team (CART) (800-248-1152; www.new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/directory/detail/356) — Operated by the state Department of Health and Hospitals, CART provides crisis counseling, intervention and stabilization services to children and their families. It also offers support, referrals and advocacy.
Child Counseling Associates (4641 Fairfield St., Suite A, Metairie, 504-875-4587; www.ccanola.com) — Children up to 18 years old can receive treatment for anxiety, behavioral and mental problems, post-traumatic stress and depression.
The Children's Bureau of New Orleans (2626 Canal St., Suite 201, 504-525-2366; www.childrens-bureau.com) — The nonprofit service organization provides mental health services including family counseling, counseling for children who have experienced trauma, and crisis intervention.
Community Center for Life (539 Lafayette St., Gretna, 504-227-9090; www.pregnancytestingwestbank.com) — The center offers free parenting classes that teach strategies for child-rearing, appropriate ways to correct children, set limits for them and more.
Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana (7240 Crowder Blvd., Suite 200, 504-888-9111; www.fhfsela.org) — The nonprofit organization provides resources for people with disabilities and their families. Programming includes financial planning for families with special needs children, transitioning those children to adulthood and other subjects.
Family Services of Greater New Orleans (2515 Canal St., Suite 201, 504-822-0800; www.fsgno.org) — The nonprofit offers counseling, education and resources to families in need. Counseling is available for stress, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, child-rearing issues, family dissolution and more. Many services are free; others are billed on a sliding scale.
Healthy Start New Orleans (Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center, 1616 Caffin Ave., 504-658-2600; www.nola.gov/health-department/healthy-start) — The community-based program for pregnant women, mothers with children up to age 2 and children 18 and younger helps women with prenatal care, parenting skills, nutrition education and counseling. There also are support groups for parents, assistance programs, family counseling and more.
Institute for Families, Parenting & Children (McGraw & Associates, 3350 Ridgelake Drive, Suite 200, Metairie, 504-296-6475; www.mcgrawandassociates.com) — The institute offers counseling and education services for children and parents, including play therapy, parenting skills, co-parenting, step-parenting, communication skills, anger and stress management, addiction prevention and more.
Metropolitan Crisis Response Team (504-826-2675; 504-832-5123 in Jefferson Parish; www.nola.gov/health-department/behavioral-health/behavioral-health-resources) — The New Orleans Health Department operates the 24-hour service for families who need emergency housing, are in danger of suicide, have an unstable mentally ill member or a drug or alcohol crisis.
The Parenting Center at Children's Hospital (938 Calhoun St., 504-896-9591; Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus, 3747 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 504-896-9591; www.chnola.org/parenting center) — There are parenting classes and special events such as infant and child CPR workshops. The center also provides support and education about child-rearing issues, referrals for community resources and a place where parents and children can socialize with others.
The Parenting Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital (1505 N. Florida St., Suite B, Covington, 985-898-4435; www.stph.org/parentingcenter) — The center offers parenting programs on a variety of subjects, including talks, workshops, activities, safety seminars and more.
Pyramid Community Resource Center (3132 Napoleon Ave., 504-899-1505; www.pyramidparentcenter.org) — The program supports parents of children with disabilities and special education needs, offering support groups and training to deal with challenging behaviors, roundtables on public policies and other subjects.
TBEARS (Tulane Building Early Relationships Support & Services) (1440 Canal St., Suite 1172, 504-988-9222; www.tbears.org) — The program, which operates through the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has clinical psychologists and a case manager to help parents with issues ranging from sleeping, feeding and calming a baby to bonding, postpartum depression and referrals to other services.
Total Community Action Inc. (1420 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway, 504-872-0334; www.tca-nola.org) — The organization operates a Head Start program and also helps low-income families with childhood development, workforce development, homeless prevention, tax preparation and more.
Zuka Baby (Vieux Carre Shopping Center, 3248 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-407-2700; www.zukababy.com) — The baby boutique offers classes in baby sign language, cloth diapering and more. It also offers tips to new parents. Check the store's Facebook page for a schedule.