Provides an overview of research regarding key characteristics and training strategies of successful parent education programs for strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment. Information about selected evidence-based and evidence-informed parent education programs, including a list of registries that evaluate programs, is provided.
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Family Strengthening and Parent Skills Training
- Evidence-based parenting education and skills training
- Education to increase understanding of parenting and child development
- Support from program staff as well as peer-to-peer support among parents
- Linkages to services and resources to help improve overall family functioning
- Efforts to build parents’ leadership and advocacy skills
The quality and stability of young children’s relationships with their parents and other primary caregivers lays the foundation for children’s growth across a wide range of domains, including their cognitive, emotional, social, behavioral, and physical development. Project LAUNCH grantees bring evidence-based parenting support and education programs into communities; train professionals to implement evidence-based parenting programs; expand the capacities of programs to serve more families; and promote parent leadership.
Project LAUNCH grantees work to improve outcomes for young children by supporting parents’ ability to provide healthy, safe, and secure family environments in which children can learn and grow.
Programs are intended to empower parents and family members with the knowledge and skills to promote their child’s growth and social–emotional development as well as attend to their own mental well-being.
Although parenting programs vary in terms of format, length, and target population, they share a common goal: to increase parents’ knowledge of parenting and healthy child development, including the importance of positive parent–child interactions and responsive, nurturing relationships. Programs also seek to promote family well-being and strengthen families’ protective factors (e.g., parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children), which studies have demonstrated increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children and families. Project LAUNCH funds parent-empowerment activities intended to support parents as leaders and advocates for their children in schools, in communities, and at the state level.
- Several Project LAUNCH grantees, such as California, Illinois, and Missouri, have offered Parent Cafés, which are designed to engage parents in meaningful conversations and self-reflection on their role as parents and to build the protective factors that research has shown can help mitigate the impact of trauma.
- Boone County Project LAUNCH is among many Project LAUNCH grantees implementing Incredible Years® to provide parents of children ages 2–8 with parenting education and support on their children’s academic, social, and emotional development.
- New Britain Project LAUNCH has adopted the Circle of Security Parenting (COS-P) model to improve parents’ and caregivers’ parenting skills and to help them understand the significance of providing security and emotional safety for their children. In addition, COS-P staff trained community providers in using the parenting program within their organizations. Communitywide implementation of COS-P has been so successful that it is currently being replicated in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Vermont Project LAUNCH funds two family support organizations to employ outreach workers to engage families not currently receiving services, including immigrant families, and to connect them with appropriate resources. The outreach workers assist with information and referrals for children who have or are at risk for having developmental delays. Outreach workers also assist families in navigating the system of care, including finding health care coverage, a medical home, special education supports, community resources, and disability-specific resources.
- The Pascua Yaqui Tribe Project LAUNCH, also known as Ili Uusim Hiapsi, has implemented a blend of tribe-specific curricula to cater to the needs of the community in family strengthening and parent skills training. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe utilizes the National Indian Child Welfare Association’s (NICWA’s) Positive Indian Parenting (PIP) curriculum and the Native American Fatherhood & Families Association’s (NAFFA’s) Motherhood Is Sacred® and Fatherhood Is Sacred® curriculum.
- The Cherokee Nation Project LAUNCH has implemented the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) curriculum, which is designed to give parents practical strategies to help them manage their children’s behavior, prevent issues from developing, and build positive relationships. In addition, the Cherokee Nation is implementing the Stepping Stones Triple P curriculum to support parents of children with special needs.
Summarizes the findings of a meta-analysis of the current research literature on parent training programs to identify components associated with more effective and less effective programs. It provides guidance for practitioners in making evidence-based program decisions to improve parenting skills and prevent child maltreatment.
Reports on the overall implementation of the Strengthening Families initiative and offers an analysis of successes, challenges, and next steps. This resource highlights that sustaining and enhancing the work nationally will depend on the following elements: continued evolution of the Strengthening Families National Network among states, an effective platform for sharing tools and resources, attention to ensure that evolving practice continues to be grounded in research, and methods for sharing the evolving knowledge base about the approach.
Safe Schools / Healthy Students
View the grantees