For Parents

Parent Cafes are fun, free, supportive, educational, parent-led get-togethers where parents can talk openly with one another about the struggles of parenting and ways to strengthen their families.

Over the course of 10 bi-weekly events, parents discuss a variety of helpful topics. Parent Cafes provide an opportunity for parents and caregivers to interact with other parents and caregivers about things that are important to building and maintaining strong, healthy families.

Parent Cafes are available to parents living in the following counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley.

Parent Cafes will be hosted in the following cities: Fort Wayne (Allen), Auburn (DeKalb), Huntington (Huntington), Warsaw (Kosciusko), and Kendallville (Noble).

Spots are limited! Please register now by completing the application below.

Pre-Register Now


Who can attend Parent Cafes?

Parent Café is open to parents and caregivers with children under the age of 18.

How will Parent Café help me and my family?

Café discussions are led by parents who have been trained on how to help facilitate deep conversation. The goals of these sessions are to help parents help each other to:

  • Grow stronger and more flexible
  • Build friendships
  • Learn about resources and obtain support
  • Add to parenting knowledge

Other support services may also be available to your family, such as:

  • Linkage to Community Resources
  • Individual Support/Skill Building
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Employment Support
  • Emergency Financial Assistance (i.e. rent, utility, and food)
  • Furnishings and Household Items

You can learn more about these support services by clicking here.

Does Parent Café really work?

According to parents who have attended Parent Cafes – yes!

  • 99% report the Parent Café was helpful
  • 98% would recommend the program to a friend and family member
  • 97% plan to attend a future Parent Café

I don’t think I can afford transportation to Parent Café events.

You may be eligible for transportation assistance. Please complete the application below and indicate that you need transportation assistance.

Is childcare available?

Yes! Childcare is available at every Parent Café site

For Providers

Spots in Parent Cafes are limited. If interested in referring a family to Parent Café or the Family Support Services, please provide them with this web address or Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana’s contact information (P: 260-422-6441 E: as appropriate. Encourage them to complete the application as soon as they can to reserve their spot in the Café!

Application Form

Be Strong Families/Strengthening Families Illinois developed the first parent café program to support programs and communities in engaging parents, building protective factors, and promoting deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Parent Cafés are based on the principles of adult learning and family support and are a gateway to providing parent leadership opportunities.

Parent Cafés engage parents in meaningful conversations about their family parenting and how to strengthen their family by building protective factors. Parent Cafés focus on building upon the five research-based protective factors including parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development, relationships, concrete supports, and social and emotional competence of children. These protective factors have been found to strengthen families, help create nurturing environments for children, and combat the impact of trauma. Parent Cafés are an adaptation of the World Café process (an internationally recognized small group conversation technology which was developed for strategic planning and community consensus building).

Does Parent Café work?

Be Strong Families/Strengthening Families Illinois has been evaluating Parent Cafés for the past three years, utilizing outcome tools developed in collaboration with Tamara Fuller, from the Children and Family Research Center at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana and the Strengthening Families Illinois Evaluation Workgroup. More than 4,000 parent participants have been included in these evaluations thus far. Based on the results received and anecdotal data gathered, Parent Cafés:

  • Increase parenting knowledge & skills
  • Build protective factors
  • Facilitate meaningful relationships
  • Bonding/community-building
  • Reduce stress/increase peace and well-being
  • Provide opportunities for parent leadership

  • Increase parenting knowledge & skills
  • Build protective factors
  • Facilitate meaningful relationships
  • Bonding/community-building
  • Reduce stress/increase peace and well-being
  • Provide opportunities for parent leadership

Additional Family Supports are available for eligible families!

In addition to Parent Café, Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana (MHANI) will be providing families with additional supportive services that aim to help them thrive. The family support services are also designed to ease the financial burden and stress that can carry a family into a crisis situation. These services include:

  • Life Skills
  • Wellness Activities
  • Employment Supports

Family Support Services

Sometimes families need a little more support to keep afloat. To find out if your family qualifies for any of the support services listed below, complete the application and mark the support services you are interested in.

Application Form

The following Family Support Services may be just right for your family if you need assistance.

Click here to pre-register for Parent Café or request Family Support Services.

If you have any questions about Family Support Services, please contact Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana at 260-422-6441 or

Parent Café / Family Support Application