Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Congratulations unsung hero: Jill Farbarik

Seattle's Child honors Jill Farbarik's outstanding volunteer work in supporting new parents in Seattle

February is Parent Recognition Month. Strengthening Families Washington, of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State, believes there is no better way to recognize a parent, grandparent, foster or adoptive parent than by acknowledging the numerous and impressive things they do to strengthen their family and those around them in their community.

Seattle’s Child is proud to sponsor the Washington Unsung Hero Awards, recognizing our everyday heroes and honoring the important role caregivers play in children’s lives. There are 28 nominees for the 28 days of February, and Seattle’s Child will highlight each and every one.


Congratulations to the Unsung Hero for February 2

Jill Farbarik – Seattle 

Jill was selected to receive the 2013 Spirit of PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) Award as an acknowledgement of her volunteer work in supporting new parents in Seattle. As a group facilitator, she’s exemplified the competencies and qualities essential to the role:

• Handling emotionally charged situations

• Maintaining confidentiality

• Knowledge of parenting best practices

• Community building skills

• Modeling respectful and appropriate interactions among group participants

• Demonstrating active listening skills

• Creating a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere among strangers 

Jill’s evaluations have consistently come back with some of the highest scores we have seen. The comments from parents, at a time when they may be at a very fragile, isolated stage of life, were lengthy, positive, heartwarming, and spoke to her advanced community-building skills. 

In the larger community she's created mother-daughter groups, is a math specialist and teacher at West Woodland Elementary, and builds community everywhere she goes! In early 2014 she lost her husband, Ray, in a skiing accident. Since then, as the now-single mom of two young girls, she's shown an astonishing capacity to grapple with her vastly-altered life, accessing local grief support groups for herself and the girls, and demonstrating resilience, caring, humor and strength in countless ways, large and small. It hasn't been lost on those of us who know her that, even though no one has much choice in experiencing incredibly stressful and life-changing events, the way she has relied on and engaged her own community in the toughest of tough times has benefitted us all. 

Nominator: Cate Palmer

Singing the Praises of Our Unsung Heroes

Read about all of the wonderful, everyday heroes who have won Washington Unsung Hero Awards: