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Support Groups

Giving birth to a child is easy compared to what comes afterwards! There are many area organizations and support groups that can make your job of parenting easier and provide the advice, information, or support you are looking for. Enrich your family life by browsing through the following list.

 

If your group is not listed, or you notice that the information for your group needs to be updated, please send an e-mail to feedback@wnyfamilymagazine.com.

ADOPTION

Adoption S.T.A.R., Inc.

47 Plaza Drive

Williamsville, NY 14221

info@adoptionstar.com

www.adoptionstar.com

716-639-3900

A New York State Authorized Adoption Agency, its focus is to educate and prepare adoptive families and birth parents for their options within adoption. S.T.A.R. stands for support, training, advocacy and resources, the ingredients for a successful adoption experience.

 

Child & Family Services

Foster Care & Special Needs Adoption Program

844 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14209

716-882-0555 ext. 100

Works to find safe, loving homes for children in need of foster care or those with special needs who are awaiting adoption. Special needs children are usually school-aged and often have physical, emotional or learning problems or they may be brothers and sisters who need to be adopted together.

 

BREASTFEEDING

La Leche League International (www.lllisa.org) has several groups meeting in WNY as well as leaders who are available to answer your questions about breastfeeding.

Amherst • Cindy, 308-4843, Barb, 604-2117 or Mary A lice, 208-7234

Buffalo • Dawn, 883-9431

Hamburg/W. Seneca • Sandy,713-1667, Kimberly, 997-4662 or Andrea, 826-7733.

Lockport • JoGee, 433-8072

Niagara Falls • Linda Grace, 622-1195 or Gina, 285-1279.

 

COPING WITH GRIEF

Storm Clouds & Rainbows is a support group for children and their parents or caretakers after the death of a loved one. Children between the ages of 5 and 17 are placed in age-appropriate groups where story telling, games, art, books, and music are utilized. The group meets for eight consecutive weeks in the evening at the Life Transitions Center. Participants must talk with the group facilitator before attending. The fee is $ 99.00 for one (1) adult and one (1) child, $ 25.00 for each additional child, $ 15.00 for each additional adult. Registration is required. Call 716-836-6460.

 

Planet Kid is a therapeutic respite program for children ages 5-13 who have lost a loved one. Movies, pizza, creative activities, and an opportunity to share feelings and loss. Facilitated by a professional bereavement counselor. Caregivers get a break while children attend. $10 per child. To register call Jim Grande at 836-6460, ext. 103.

 

COUNSELING

Child & Family Services

Intake/Information

330 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14202

716-842-2750

At locations in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and West Seneca, offers programs designed for families and individuals with counseling or mental health needs

 

HOME SCHOOLING

Buffalo Area Homeschooling Association

This all-inclusive group provides support for area home schooling families. Regular events include weekly hikes, organized field trips, nature hikes, sharing nights, classes, mom’s nights out, and adult-centered meetings where ideas and concerns are shared. Children range from babies (younger siblings of school age children) to mid-teens. Styles of homeschooling are varied and this group supports and respects the wide variety of needs and experiences children have. For further details, contact Sue, 716-741-4755 (BAHAWNY@aol.com)

 

Empire Home School Group

is an all-inclusive cooperative of K-12 homeschooling families that gets together at a Marilla location for weekly gym, music and art instruction on Friday mornings for 3 1/2 hours. For details, contact Geordie Stanley, 716-655-5665 (myfamilymatters@gmail.com).

 

PARENT ORGANIZATIONS

Attachment Parenting (AP) of Western New York

Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that encourages responsiveness to the infant or child’s emotional needs to develop trust and foster a strong bond between the child and caregivers. This strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships. For more information on Attachment Parenting, visit www.attachmentparenting.org. AP of WNY has a Yahoo message group for discussions and support and to coordinate playgroups, family picnics/outings, and more. Contact Dawn Lewandowski, 716-883-9431 (DawnLew@aol.com ).

 

MOMS Club

The MOMS Club is an international non-profit organization with 2,000+ chapters and more than 100,000 members across the U.S. Several local chapters have formed which offer monthly meetings with speakers and discussions, park playdays, holiday family parties, outings for mothers and their children, and activity groups like playgroups, arts ‘n crafts, and a monthly MOMS Night Out. They also do service projects to help needy children.

The club activities are during the day for stay-at-home moms or working moms with a flexible schedule. Visit www.momsclub.org or for more information on the rapidly growing local MOMS Club chapters, call:

Amherst South • Eliza, 716-634-0816

Amherst North • Elena, 716- 688-4345

East Amherst/Clarence • Lisa, 716-601-5456

Kenmore/Tonawanda • Dawn, 716-404-2535

Wheatfield/North Tonawanda • Pam, 716-731-5483

 

Mothers of Preschoolers

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is a faith-based international non-profit organization which charters programs in churches of many different denominations and Christian traditions. It exists to nurture the needs of every mom — urban, suburban, and rural moms, stay-at-home and working moms, teen, single and married moms — moms with different lifestyles who all share a similar desire to be the very best mom they can be! There are many local chapters in Western New York which can be found by visiting the MOPS International website at www.mops.org.


For example, Winchester Community Church, 909 Harlem Road in West Seneca, holds MOPS meetings the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, 9:30-11:30am. Childcare is provided and moms are welcome for food, fellowship and crafts. The first meeting at Winchester is free and each additional meeting is $1 per mom and $.50 per child. For more information on the MOPS program at Winchester Community Church, call Tracey at 716-826-8046 or e-mail lichons31@gmail.com.


Another MOPS group meets at Resurrection Life, 2145 Old Union Road, Cheektowaga on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month, September through May, from 9:15am to 11:15am. The fee is $5 per meeting; children are free. For more information on this MOPS group, call 716-656-8995 or e-mail trish@res-life.com.


St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 68 Eagle Street, Williamsville, offers a MOPS group the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, 9:30-11am. Your first two visits are free; on site babysitting is available at $2 per child. Call Laura, 716-440-3629, for information.


MOPS meetings are held 1st & 3rd Mondays from 6:15-8:15pm at Fellowship Wesleyan Church, 1645 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca. Childcare provided for children ages newborn through Kindergarten. For information, contact, Rhonda, 716-675-6398.


St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 53 W. Falls Road, West Falls, meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday, from 9:30am-11am. Call Lori at 716-652-0781 for information.

 

Yet another MOPS group invites you to come enjoy uninterrupted time with other mothers of preschoolers (children from birth through Kindergarten), inspiring speakers, refreshments, creative activities, and quality childcare (FREE) on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 453 Old Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda. For more information, call 716-693-2157 or email PBHaeussler@aol.com.

 

Mothers of Twins Club of Buffalo

This support group for mothers of multiples meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (except June, July, August & December, when other events are planned) at 7:30pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2669 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda. They publish a monthly newsletter, and organize activities such as holiday parties, toy/clothing sales, and other family events. For information call Maryanne at 716-807-9477 or visit www.motcofbuffalo.org.

 

 

AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE?

Joan A. Male Family Support Center

24-Hour Parent Help-Line• 716-892-2172

www.joanamale.org

The mission of the Joan A. Male Family Support Center is to provide free support to families and safety to children when parenting gets tough. Their confidential support line is staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and takes calls from parents who are undergoing stress and/or are in crisis in relation to their parenting role. A parent may feel overwhelmed or angry with their child and need immediate support and guidance. The help-line helps them to reduce their stress in the moment and to start the process of pro-actively solving the problem that creates the stress.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Child & Family Services

Haven House

Shelter, Outreach & Advocacy

24-Hour Hotline • 716-884-6000

Provides shelter, support, counseling and outreach for victims of domestic violence.

 

Crisis Services

2969 Main Street

Buffalo, NY 14214

Crisis Hotline • 716-834-3131

A private, not-for-profit mental health and human service agency with the mission of providing 24 hour-a-day, 365 days-a-year emergency response crisis counseling and interventions to all residents of Erie County. Services are available to everyone in Erie County and there are no waiting lists.

 

Kids HELPLINE

24 Hours A Day • Crisis Services

716-834-1144

www.kidscrisis.com

Specially trained counselors will help kids & teens cope with the many changes, frustrations, pressures and decisions they face. Individual or group “chats” with trained professionals are available on the site.

 

2-1-1 Western New York

211 - Call 2-1-1 from service area
(888) 696-9211 - Alternative Number
(716) 842-3178 - TTY

www.211wny.org

2-1-1 information and referral service for the following counties in New York: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.

 

Because I Love You

This organization, formerly known as Tough Love, offers self-help for parents troubled by young people’s behavior in school, in the family, with drugs/alcohol, and/or with the law. They can help you use resources and develop new strengths to enable you to give your youth support. Meetings are held Monday evenings, 7:30pm, at the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road, Buffalo. For further details, contact Rick at 716-990-2452.


Kins Of Twins

This group is the Mothers-of-Twins Club of the Southtowns and was founded in 1976. They meet (for moms only) in a different member’s home on the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:30pm. For more information, contact Michele at 716-648-2464 or e-mail Bholl892@msn.com.

 

Mothers & More

This national, non-profit organization has a strong, dedicated local chapter which is welcoming new members. The Buffalo chapter is open to all moms, whether staying at home or working outside the home. Meetings are held at Elderwood Village at Glenwood, a retirement community located at 5271 Main Street, Williamsville. The group’s offerings are diverse and include meetings, book club, toddler playgroups, mom n’ tot activities, and rewarding volunteer opportunities. This group also recognizes the importance of taking time out for yourself! They have monthly mom’s night out events that are always a great way to catch up with friends. Mothers & More places a strong emphasis on friendship, family and community while continually exploring the different aspects of motherhood. To learn more, call 716-706-1509.


Parents Without Partners

Parents without Partners is an international, non-profit, non-denominational, educational organization devoted to the welfare and interests of single parents and their children. Members may be of any age, divorced, separated, widowed or never married, and custody of a child is not a requirement. The group engages in a wide variety of educational activities and social events, with and without their children. PWP offers subsidies to member's children to help make family events more affordable. Membership orientation sessions are held bi-monthly. For more information, please call their events hotline at 716-684-0123 or email pwp006web@hotmail.com.

 

Southtowns Parents & Preschoolers, Inc.

Meet other local moms, dads and their kids and make the most out of all WNY has to offer your family! SPP has been around since 1979. Members have access to their monthly online calendar of activities -- things like gymnastics/sports, museums, farms, Moms Nights Out, arts and crafts, behind-the-scenes tours of places like Ralph Wilson Stadium and the post office, picnics, home play dates and more. Each month they have a theme for activities and there are always new things to do. The group is run by committee so any and all ideas are welcome. The group is open to all parents with young kids who would be interested in joining the fun — no need to be in preschool. To learn more and join this group, go to http://moms.meetup.com/3075/.

 

FOOD ALLERGIC CHILDREN

WNY Family columnist Kathy Lundquist is no longer able to continue the WNY Food Allergy Connection support group which has helped so many families in the past. But, she will continue to write her "Kid-Friendly Kitchen" column each month for the magazine and be available to answer questions related to food allergies via email at allergy@roadrunner.com.

 

A new group, Food Allergies Support Services, Inc., is currently being organized and awaiting their non-profit status so that they can seek grants for funding of services. Their mission is to support individuals and families affected by food allergies and elevate awareness and understanding in the community. Contact them through their web site at www.CleanOutThePantry.org or send an email to allergypeanutmom@yahoo.com.

 

GRANDPARENT SUPPORT

Among the many changes in society today is the growing incidence of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Unmarried or divorced mothers may be ill-prepared to support children on their own. Fathers refuse to acknowledge their children and their responsibility to them. Other problems such as mental illness or social ills such as drugs or alcohol may be involved. With these special challenges in mind, support groups have formed:

 

G.A.S.P. Inc., (Grandparents And Other Relatives Advocating & Support Program) meets the 1st & 3rd Fridays of the month at the John Duke Senior Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls, 10am-noon. For information contact Paula Smith at 716-731-3235. In the last 10 years this group has seen its membership grow from 4 to 60. They will be opening an Erie County location October 1st at 8870 Main Street, Williamsville. Call 716-725-5909 for more information.

 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren meets the 4th Tuesday of each month in Orchard Park and welcomes any extended family member who is caring for a child. For more information, contact Alice Hutchins at 716-662-0482.

 

SPECIAL NEEDS

(Be sure to see our separate Special Needs page for a complete list of helpful organizations and professionals.)

 

The Parent Network of WNY

1000 Main Street

Buffalo, New York 14202

Information & Referral:

716-332-4175

Toll-free: 1-866-277-4762

This community resource provides the tools necessary for parents and professionals to take an active role in the education of children and young adults with special needs. They offer a wealth of seminars, workshops, information and referral services, a newsletter, family training services, all FREE of charge. You can learn more by visiting their web site at www.parentnetworkwny.org.

 

Down Syndrome Parent Group of Western New York

www.dspgwny.org

E-mail: dspgwny@hotmail.com

This non-profit organization consists of parents and families of children with

Down syndrome. In addition to educational information and social events, their Parent Support Program connects new parents with volunteers who can share their experiences and provide support. For further information, call 716-832-9334.