Programs Offered


Attentive Parenting Program

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4-6 sessions, 1.5-2 hours per session

Attentive Parenting enhances family relationships and empowers parents to encourage positive behaviors, improve compliance, strengthen social, emotional, and academic competencies, and develop a supportive bond with other parents. This program focuses on parents of primary grade children.

Celebrating Families!

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12 sessions, 2 hours per session

This is a family education program designed for families in which one or both parents are in early stages of recovery from substance addiction.  This program is used to achieve three primary goals: break the cycle of substance abuse and dependency within families, decrease substance use and reduce substance use relapse, and facilitate successful family reunification.  Parents and children participate in separate 90-minute instruction group sessions devoted to a particular theme.  Parents then join their children for a 30-minute activity to practice what has been presented and learned.  Themes include healthy living, nutrition, communication, feelings and defenses, anger management, chemical dependency as a disease, effects of dependency on the whole family, goal setting, healthy choices, healthy boundaries, and healthy friendships/relationships.

Cooperative Parenting and Divorce

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2 sessions, 4 hours per session

This program gives divorcing parents with children of all ages the power to make positive changes that shield their children from parental conflict and guide them toward establishing a long-term relationship with the child’s other parent(s). Suitable for parents who are separated or divorced.

In order to successfully complete, both Saturday sessions must be attended.

COST: $100.00 per individual participant (nonrefundable fee must be paid prior to first class)


Family Nurturing Education & Support Program

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 (Approved program of the Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency)

13 sessions, 2 hours per session
A free 26-hour, comprehensive program designed to nurture and support parents and their children (birth to 12 years old).  Parents will learn developmental information, helpful attitudes and basic skills for nurturing themselves and their children in order to promote the healthy development of children. Childcare will be provided during this program. Recommended reading: The Incredible Years, A Trouble-Shooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 2-8 years old, by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, PhD.

COBYS Family Life Center, Lancaster, PA
  • Live on-line classes offered via ZOOM. Tuesday & Thursday evenings, 6:00-7:30 p.m. May 19-June 30, 2020
  • Register

Girls Circle

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6-8 sessions, 1.5-2 hours per session

Girls Circle is a structured support group for girls in middle school and high school, teaching skills that are designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence.  When girls voice their ideas and opinions in a safe environment, it strengthens their confidence and self-esteem, and encourages them to express themselves more fully.  It also helps them critically think through their behavior and choices, raises awareness of their options and strengthens their ability to make choices that are consistent with their values, interests, and talents. The Girls Circle aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships.

Guiding Good Choices (GGC)

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5 sessions, 1.5-2 hours  per session

An interactive course in which parents of 4th to 8th graders* focus on the transition to adolescence and the “nature and extent of adolescent drug use, and the conditions that help protect against and contribute to adolescent drug use. Parents will also learn how to hold a family meeting to plan family fun and strengthen family bonding.” (Quoted from GGC Parent Guide.)

GGC goals include:

How to Prevent Drug Use in Your Family
Setting Guidelines: How to Develop Healthy Beliefs and Clear Standards
Avoiding Trouble: How to Say No to Drugs
Managing Conflict: How to Control and Express Your Anger Constructively
Involving Everyone: How to Strengthen Family Bonds
GGC supports parents as they clarify family expectations for behavior, enhance conditions to promote close family relationships, and teach skills that allow children to meet the family and community expectation to resist drug use. In addition, GGC provides opportunities to explore current trends in adolescent behavior.

Incredible Years Autism and Language Delays Program

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11 sessions, 2 hours per session

This 11-session program is geared to parents of young children (aged 2-9) on the Autism spectrum or with language delays in order to promote children’s emotional regulation, social competence, language skills, school readiness, and relationships with others.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Child-directed narrated play promotes positive relationships
  • Pre-academic and persistence coaching promotes language development and school readiness
  • Social coaching promotes friendship skills
  • Emotion coaching promotes emotional literacy
  • Pretend play promotes empathy and social skills
  • Promoting children’s self-regulation skills
  • Using praise and rewards to motivate children
  • Limit setting and behavior management


Incredible Years Series with Dina Dinosaur Training Program

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13 to 18 sessions, 2 hours per session
The Incredible Years Series is an internationally recognized, evidence-based program that is proven to help children increase social and self-control skills and reduce challenging behaviors.  This program offers a therapy class for the child alongside a supportive program for the parents.  Together, the programs are proven to make a real difference in the lives of the family! The child’s portion of the program is a small group Dina Dinosaur child training program for children aged 4-8 who struggle with acting impulsively, feeling anxious, resisting cooperation, and/or struggling with friendship skills.  It utilizes puppet and video modeling, coaching and reinforcement with structured activities, visual imagery, fantasy play, as well as live role plays.  The parents’ portion of the program is a group format that will prepare parents to promote more positive behaviors between parent and child, improve compliance at home and at school, reduce aggression and behavior problems in and out of the home, learn positive and consistent discipline, and gain support that includes other parents.  More information on Incredible Years may be found at


COBYS Family Life Center, Lancaster, PA
  • Online Parenting Class via Zoom - Wednesdays, July 8 - Sept 30, 2020, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Register

Parenting Wisely

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(A court-approved alternative adjudication program in Lancaster County)

1 session, 1 1/2 hours, followed by at-home online course completion.

Parenting Wisely, evidence-based curriculum, provides parents and youth (ages 11-18) with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to build stronger parent/child relationships and to promote regular school attendance. This program is a highly interactive family education online program. Participants will be instructed how to use the online program by a COBYS Family Life Educator. The program may be completed at home or anywhere internet access is available. Computer access and educator assistance are available as needed. The Parenting Wisely Young Child program is available for parents of elementary-age children. This program receives funding by the PA Department of Health through the Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission and the Lancaster County Children & Youth Agency.

Read about one family’s experience with the Parenting Wisely course.

Families will learn to:

  • Strengthen family and school bonds;
  • Enhance family communication;
  • Help children develop responsibility;
  • Establish family policies against problem behaviors, including truancy, violence, drug and alcohol use, etc.;
  • Develop mutual support.
COBYS Family Life Center, Lancaster, PA
  • Online programs accessed from your home are able to begin now - please register and we will be in touch.
  • Register
  • June 17, 2020 -- Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Register
COBYS Main Office, Leola, PA
  • June 8, 2020 -- Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Register
Columbia Life Network, Columbia, PA
  • June 4, 2020 -- 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Register

Seeking Safety

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Seeking Safety is an evidence-based group therapy program that focuses on coping skills in the present moment.

Many people affected by trauma may turn to addictive behaviors to try to manage difficult feelings. Seeking Safety discusses tools to help you manage these symptoms and to cope effectively.

Learn to navigate triggers and successfully build a life of safety, security and wellbeing.  People do not share stories of their traumas, but instead look towards the future and practice new ways to cope, safely.

Topics include: safety, stress and trauma, healing from anger, grounding, when substances control you, recovery thinking, community resources, healthy relationships, and boundaries.

Seeking Safety is an open-enrollment, mixed gender group.  Participants may join the group at any point and receive a certificate after participating in 10 complete sessions.

Murry Hill Center, Lancaster, PA
  • Women Only Group - Online Zoom class available starting June 3 -- Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Register
Water Street Mission, Lancaster, PA
  • Will notify when classes resume
  • Register

Specialized Training For Children And Youth Ministry Workers

(All Specialized Trainings are 1.5-2 hours per session)

Becoming Trauma Informed

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Trauma is widespread and leaves long-lasting effects.  Trauma can undermine a child’s ability to learn, form relationships, and function appropriately.  This workshop gives an overview of childhood trauma, how trauma changes the brain, and how to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma.  Discuss trauma-sensitive practices and explore “next steps” for your group to effectively respond to children and youth exposed to trauma.

Creating a Sense of Belonging

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Help your children’s ministry team create a warm, caring environment that children will love coming to each week! This workshop focuses on specific tools your staff can use to provide an environment in which kids feel safe, loved, and stimulated.

Discipline That Leads to Discipleship

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This workshop focuses on giving children’s ministry workers the skills to successfully manage classroom behavior while maintaining positive relationships. Information discussed includes building a plan based on the goals of your children’s ministry, preventing problems, meeting emotional needs, and correcting problem behaviors.

Serving Children with Autism

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This workshop focuses specifically on successfully including children with autism into a church classroom setting. Information includes general characteristics of children with autism, such as communication patterns, social interactions, sensory responses, play patterns, strengths, and abilities. Practical tips are given on creating room arrangement, routines, and rewards that will offer a successful church experience for all involved.


(All workshops are 1.5-2 hours per session)

Becoming Trauma Informed

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Trauma is widespread and leaves long-lasting effects.  Trauma can undermine a child’s ability to learn, form relationships, and function appropriately.  This workshop gives an overview of childhood trauma, how trauma changes the brain, and how to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma.  Discuss trauma-sensitive practices and explore “next steps” for your group to effectively respond to children and youth exposed to trauma.

Building Confidence and Self Esteem

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This workshop will discuss ways that we as parents can build the self-esteem and confidence of our children.  Participants will learn the connection between self-esteem and helping children make positive choices, using praise, giving children responsibilities, and encouraging children to make decisions that are appropriate for their age.  The hosting agency may choose the target audience: parents of early childhood (ages 4-7), school age (ages 8-12), or preteen/teen (ages 13-18) aged children.

Five Love Languages

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Based on the Book, The 5 Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman, this workshop discusses the ways we can show love to one another using the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Learning Through Play

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Learning Through Play will help parents discover the importance of play in children’s lives. The use of play helps children learn skills and strategies in problem solving, cooperation, self-esteem, and attachment. Learn ways to let your child take the lead in play and support them as they learn. Also learn how playing with children encourages their academic, social, and emotional development.

Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement

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This workshop discusses how to effectively utilize the power of positive reinforcement to change and maintain our children’s behaviors.  Participants practice using praise, encouragement, and social and tangible rewards to change behaviors from negative to positive.  This workshop is for parents of preschool and school age children.