From conversations with families to 40 years of service

social-workerFamily Builders turns 40 years old this year! As we celebrate the end of our fourth decade of serving Oklahoma families, we want to take a moment to honor our founder, Ann Hardy.

Ann Hardy founded Parent’s Assistance Center (now Family Builders) in 1976. A social worker in Oklahoma City, she worked with families and saw that often, abusive behavior didn’t simply appear out of left field.

For many of the families she worked with, abuse and neglect had become a cycle reaching back for generations. People tend to parent the way they were parented, and many of the parents Ann worked with had been abused or neglected during childhood and were simply parenting the way they knew how.

There was a gap in services for these families. Parents who were motivated to make the behavioral changes necessary to reunite their family had little guidance on how to do that. That meant that many of the same families were repeatedly going through the DHS process with a problem they didn’t know how to solve.

Ann realized that in order to break the cycle of abuse, abusive parents had to learn better, healthier patterns of parenting that they could pass on to their own children. So in 1975, Ann started meeting with families, listening to their experiences and guiding them toward healthier parenting behaviors.

In 1976, Parent’s Assistance Center was founded, based on the needs Ann saw in those conversations. Parent’s Assistance Center grew into an organization that helps parents unlearn problematic parenting behaviors, and empowers them to learn parenting skills that can change their families for generations to come.

Now, 40 years later, we are celebrating our anniversary with a family reunion luncheon. Ann Hardy passed away recently, but her impact is still felt among the families we serve. Along with members of her own family, we will honor her at our celebration luncheon this Thursday, November 3rd, on behalf of all the families whose lives were changed because of her vision.

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