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toddlers playing with blocks

Community Parenting Resources

Our children are the foundation of our society. How we parent is a driving force shaping our children as they grow into productive adults. Parenting is not intuitive, and babies do not come with manuals. Indeed, each child is unique and sometimes this can create challenges in how to best respond and what resources we may need to help our children and families thrive. Every parent and caregiver can improve by learning strategies and ideas to help our children master important skills and develop the ability to be independent. The organizations and services listed here can provide the assistance families need. 

Parenting Services: 

Children's Home of Jefferson County 

  • Outpatient Mental Health, Adult and Child Care Coordination, Therapeutic Crisis Respite Program, Foster Care and Post-Adoption Services, Teen Center. 
  • Contact: Diane Zikowitz, Community Based Services Manager 

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Parenting Department 

  • Breastfeeding support and education; Nutrition education; general parenting and life skills; financial literacy; parenting workshops and events; contracted case referrals 
  • Contact: April Bennett, Nutrition & Parenting Program Manager 

Family Support Coordination 

  • Family engagement; Link and referral to other services; Can work with Carthage area families outside of the Academy 
  • Contact: Michelle Martin, Family Support Coordinator 

Family YMCA

  • Health and fitness; sports and leagues; daycare; school-aged childcare (SACC) 
  • Contact: Michelle Graham, Senior Director of Health and Wellness 

Head Start of Jefferson County 

  • Free preschool for eligible families; Family advocates act as liaisons between families, staff, the community, and other family-related services; Coordinate, provide, and refer for services; Provide in-home visits. 
  • Contact: Trish Gay, Parent Family Community Engagement 

Jefferson/Lewis Childcare Project 

  • Certified ACEs trainer; Hoping to launch ACEs Train-the-trainer program; Infant Toddler program; Parenting classes for parents of infants and toddlers; Weatherization program; Parent Newsletter
  • Contact: Cori Lesher, Infant - Provider Services Coordinator 

Healthy Families / North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council 

  • Healthy Families: Child-focused home visiting program for families with babies 0-3 months, family services continue up to age 5. 
  • Healthy Families Contact: Joe Pate, Director 
  • NCPPC: Certified lactation counselors; car seat tech; community health worker program for children 0-4 and their families to provide parenting education, support, and resources 
  • NCPPC Contact: Brooke Pate, Director of Maternal and Infant Health 

Jefferson County Department of Social Services 

  • Human services, SNAP, TANF, HEAP, Childcare Assistance, Child Protective Services 
  • Contact: Jessica Hyde, Staff Development Coordinator 

Mobile Integration Team

  • Receive referrals from St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center; Provide family support 
  • Contact: Jordan Leonard 

Northern Regional Center for Independent Living 

  • Peer support; Peer advocacy; Education/IEP support; Youth groups; WACK, Strong Teens; Love & Logic Parenting Classes 
  • Contact: Jennifer Sibley, Program Director 
    • Phone: 315-785-8703  

North Country Family Health Center

  • Integrated healthcare services including medical, dental, and behavioral health for infants, children, and adults at two locations in Watertown 
  • Contact: 315-782-9450 


  • Monthly nutritious foods through e-WIC; breastfeeding support; nutrition counseling; health education; health care referrals; referrals to other services; Located in Watertown, Evans Mills/Fort Drum, and Lowville with services available by phone.
  • Contact: Angel Carter, WIC Director 


Amy Zukas
4-H / Parenting Program Manager
315-788-8450 ext. 254

Last updated August 28, 2023