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The Children’s Center of Clackamas County Publishes a Parenting Book!

By Natalie Hornstein, Community Engagement Manager |

The Children’s Center of Clackamas County has a new accolade under their belt – they have published a parenting book! The book is titled “Raising Happy, Healthy, Safe Kids: 50 Tips for Tackling Even the Toughest Challenges with Love, Joy, and Purpose”, and is written by local author Karen Friesen. Their book is based on the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines for preventing child abuse. Topics in the book include healthy relationships, boundaries, safety rules, environmental awareness, community network strengths, and protective factors.

“The main goal of this book is to build awareness on positive experiences that can really make a difference in the lives of children and families,” says Children’s Center Executive Director, Karen Rush. “We can keep kids safe through building healthy, happy families.”

The tips, data, and information in the book come from many credited sources. Each chapter ends with additional resources that parents and caregivers can access to find even more information about the topics presented in the book. Much of the content in the book was a collaborative effort between the Children’s Center staff, and long-time board member and retired clinical professor and pediatric nurse, Catherine E. Burns. The Children’s Center then worked with author Karen Friesen to write the book.

“Our staff pitched ideas for the content, and then we reviewed it with Catherine and made sure it aligned with proven data and recommendations from scientifically backed sources,” says Rush. “Then, we hired an author to help us put it together and make sure it was all communicated in a way that is accessible for families.”

The Children’s Center’s book is unique in that it aims to address difficult topics that many parenting books shy away from – like drug use and sex.

“We know that when we acknowledge and talk about these things with our kids, they are much less likely to experience the negative outcomes that come with abuse,” says Rush.

Part of the Children’s Center’s work in the community is around prevention. This book is a product of that knowledge and practice, and they are hoping to create a class for parents and caregivers based around the content of the book. ClackCoKids is helping get this valuable knowledge into the hands of Clackamas County families and recently purchased copies to give to families enrolled in our programs and services.

“As a community partner engaged in child abuse prevention with children and families, we appreciate the vital service the Children’s Center provides for our communities,” says ClackCoKids Executive Director Darcee Kilsdonk. “Our hope is that the parents in our programs who read this book will feel empowered to keep their children happy, healthy, and safe using the accessible strategies in the book.”

The Children’s Center is selling copies of the book on Amazon and through Barnes and Nobles. All the profits from the selling of the book go to support the programs and services of the Children’s Center. Find the book on Amazon here: