What Are Nurturing Parenting Programs?
The Nurturing Parenting Programs are a family-centered trauma-informed initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices. The long term goals are to prevent recidivism in families receiving social services, lower the rate of multi-parent teenage pregnancies, reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency and alcohol abuse, and stop the intergenerational cycle of child abuse by teaching positive parenting behaviors.
Seven things you should know about Nurturing Parenting Programs...
1. There are Approximately Thirty Nurturing Programs:
Select the Right Program for your Families
2. Nurturing Programs: Three Levels of Prevention and Session Dosage
Secondary Prevention: Also referred to as Intervention with a dosage range of 12 to 20 sessions.
Tertiary Prevention: Also referred to as Treatment with a dosage range of 15 to 25+ sessions.
3. Nurturing Program Sessions are delivered in Three Program Models
The most common and most effective one-to-one instructional model is offering the parenting lessons in the family’s home. Home-based programs are very common for parents with young children from birth to 5 years. The home-based approach allows the parent educator to observe the family and practice the skills in their home setting.
The instructor’s office or the school classroom doesn’t provide the intimacy that a home setting provides, but can be effective locations for parents who are overwhelmed or easily distracted in group settings. The advantage is the instructor can control the amount of distraction that goes on by meeting in the office or classroom.
Model #2 Group-Based Setting
Group-based settings have several advantages: they are a cost effective way of delivering education in a ratio of one instructor to 10 parents; socialization with other parents meets one of the Protective Factors; parents can passively learn from the questions and issues the other parents bring to the group; a multi-cultural group broadens the parents’ cultural diversity; and in Nurturing Parenting group-based programs, the parents and children meet in separate groups that run concurrently which allow the parents to have the opportunity to engage in learning without the distractions that children often present.
Model #3 Combination Group-Based Program with Home-Based Session
Taking the best characteristics from Models 1 and 2, Model 3 allows socialization with other parents and the opportunity to learn without the distractions of the children being present. Parents are also engaged in home-based sessions to ensure the knowledge and skills being presented in the group sessions are practiced and utilized within their family.
4. Nurturing Program Lessons are Competency Based
5. Nurturing Programs have built-in Assessment and Evaluation Practices
- PRE, at the beginning of the program;
- PROCESS, during the entire program; and
- POST, toward the end of program.
6. Pre and Post Program Assessment and Evaluation Measures
- A. Developmental Expectations;
- B. Parental Level of Empathy;
- C. Belief in the use of Corporal Punishment;
- D. Reversing Parent-Child Family Roles; and
- E. Oppressing Children’s Power and Independence.
Responses to the AAPI provide a level of risk for child maltreatment on three levels: High, Moderate and Low. These levels of risk on the AAPI coordinate with the levels of prevention and dosage of lessons presented in the Nurturing Parenting Programs.
Form A and Form B: There are two versions of the AAPI: Version A and Version B. Using alternate forms of the AAPI to gather pre and post program responses reduces the likelihood of increased positive parenting responses based on practice in completing the same inventory multiple times.
Assessing both Parents and their Teens. Parent-teen differences are legendary. Responses to the PARTI are presented on individual and combined profiles allowing teens and their parents to observe the similarities and differences in their beliefs.
Assessing Parents only. A visual view of the beliefs parents have of raising teens can provide them with an understanding how today’s generation of teens are very different from their generation. Responses can also provide parents the opportunity to examine how similar and different they are from their partner in parenting their teen.
Assessing Teens only. Ideal for use with teens in school settings, detention and residential settings. Responses to the PARTI provide teens an opportunity to examine personal beliefs and behaviors that may have contributed to their social and emotional dysfunctional behavior.
- Expectant Teen Partners: Partners can increase their awareness of their similarities and differences in their beliefs of being a teen. Awareness can prevent conflicts in beliefs from forming unspoken differences that may work to sabotage their young relationship.
- A. Familial and developmental expectations;
- B. Feelings of empathy for one another and for family;
- C. Discipline beliefs and strategies;
- D. Familial roles and expectations of teens and parents; and
- E. Expectations of freedom and independence of teens and their parents.
These responses provide an index and level of conflict and agreement: high, moderate and low levels of conflict or agreement.
- A. My current lifestyle and living conditions;
- B. My childhood and relationships with my parents;
- C. My relationship with the father/mother of my children or current partner;
- D. My relationship with my children and family;
- E. My knowledge of nurturing parenting practices;
- F. My Utilization of nurturing parenting strategies and skills.
Long Version (LV) The LV version is particularly useful in assessing individuals and family members with a high risk for child maltreatment; who are currently receiving child welfare services for abuse or neglect; who are ordered to attend parenting classes; who have a history of violence towards children and spouses/partners; or who have come to the attention of social services in need of parenting education. The LV has approximately 80 items that address all six constructs presented above. Different NSCS’s are developed for each nurturing program and may have a different number of items. The information generated from the NSCS-LV is presented on a parenting profile. Responses per construct range from Below Average to Average to Above Average.
Short Version (SV) is ideally suited for average families who are not receiving services for child abuse and neglect, who have not been referred for parenting education, and who have no reportable history of domestic violence. The SV with approximately 50 items is designed primarily for use with low-risk, or average families not receiving or referred for parenting education. The SV provides a parenting profile with scores in three of the six NSCS constructs: Construct A: About My Life; Construct E: My Knowledge of Nurturing Parenting Practices; and Construct F: My utilization of Nurturing Skills.
7. Process Evaluation Measures
The Family Nurturing Plan (FNP) is a document the PARENT EDUCATORS USE to measure the ongoing progress the parents are making. A FNP is developed for each family at the beginning of the program. The FNP lists the lessons to be taught; the lesson competencies to be learned; the home practice assignments to be completed between program sessions: and ratings and questions the instructors use to assess how well the parents have learned the information and acquired the new skills. The FNP also becomes a contract between the parent and the Instructor. FNP’s are specific to each different Nurturing Program.
The Family Nurturing Journal (FNJ) is a document the PARENTS USE to monitor their progress in learning the program competencies. Parents know the lesson competencies they are responsible for learning as well as the home practice assignments they are to complete between classes. To monitor their progress, parents keep a weekly journal of the changes happening to them, their children and their family. FNJs are specific to each different Nurturing Program.
Individual Session Evaluations are utilized in group-based programs. Towards the end of each session, parents rate the degree they feel they have learned each of the specific lesson competencies. A rating of 0 means the parent has “not learned the competency at all”; 1 indicates the parent has learned the competency “a little bit”; 2 indicates “pretty good” understanding of the competency; and 3 indicates the parent has a “really good” understanding and grasp of the lesson competency.
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National Recognition and International Utilization
The Nurturing Parenting Programs are recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Registry for Evidence-based Parenting Programs (NREPP), and a number of state and local agencies as proven programs for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The Departments of the Army and Navy utilize the Nurturing Parenting Program to enhance parenting skills for first time parents in bases worldwide.
National Training Workshops and Consultant Listing
Located in our Training Resources Section is a listing of our national training workshops and a listing of trainers in your state. Learn how to have you and your colleagues trained in the Nurturing Parenting Programs!