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In-Person Parent Support Groups

Parents Helping Parents (PHP) prevention philosophy is grounded in a self-help model based on the belief that parents are capable of developing their own solutions when given the space, encouragement, and community resources that they need.  Thus, it is the parents themselves who decide the direction a conversation will take during a Parent Support Group meeting or Parent Stress Line. 

Through a combination of trust, mutual support, honesty, and collective wisdom, involvement with PHP can become the foundation for a parent's own personal growth and change.

Parents with Newborn Baby

Value Statement

We believe that good parenting is the fundamental right of every child, and the greatest legacy we can give them. To further this end:

  • We believe in creating safe spaces for parents to talk and be heard.

  • We believe in solving problems without resorting to violence.

  • We believe in shared leadership and decision-making.

  • We believe in a strength-based approach that recognizes everyone’s potential to be a good parent and to create a healthy family.

  • We believe that acknowledging needs and asking for help shows strength, and a willingness to change.

  • We believe in validating feelings and encouraging positive peer relationships.

  • We believe in the power of the parent voice to effect change in our communities.

Our History

Parents Helping Parents (PHP) had its beginnings in 1972 when Mike Turner and Joan Wheeler, both affiliated with Parents’ and Children’s Services, started the first parent support group in Massachusetts based on the Parents Anonymous model. This model was first developed in California by Jolly K. and her therapist, Leonard Lieber. The concept was to bring parents together in a supportive and safe environment to talk about problems they were having with their children and to learn new parenting strategies from one another.

In 1979, Parents Helping Parents was incorporated under its original name Parents Anonymous of Massachusetts.  In that same year, the Parental Stress Line (1-800-632-8188) was established as a 24-hour helpline for parents.  From the outset, volunteers have provided all of our services and the Board of Directors has been led by Parent Leaders who have attended our parent support groups.

Today, PHP continues to provide parent support groups across Massachusetts based on our mutual support model. PHP also operates the Parental Stress Line that caregivers can call for any issue related to parenting.

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