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 the Nurturing Parenting Programs...
1. There are Approximately Thirty Nurturing Programs:
Family Development Resources is committed to meeting the unique needs of families. To this end, approximately 30 programs or program models are available that are designed to meet the family’s educational learning styles and abilities; the family’s culture and language; the ages of the children as well as the ages of the parents.
The first step in implementing the Nurturing Parenting Programs is to select the right program(s) for the families you are serving.
2. Nurturing Programs: Three Levels of Prevention and Session Dosage
The Nurturing Parenting Programs are designed to meet the family’s needs based on their parenting strengths and weaknesses. Nurturing Parenting Programs are designed for each of the three levels of prevention, commonly recognized in the fields of social work, mental health, and medicine: primary, secondary and tertiary. Dosage is a term used to indicate the number of sessions or length of a program. Dosage is also related to the three levels of prevention.
3. Nurturing Program Sessions are delivered in Three Program Models
Each of the following program models are effective in the right setting and have their own unique advantages.
Model #1 One-to-one in Home, Office or Classroom
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.
Each lesson offered in the Nurturing Programs has identified competencies the parents need to learn and the instructors need to teach in order for parenting practices to improve. The lesson competencies keep both the parent and the instructor on track making sure learning is occurring. The individual lessons, assessments, evaluations and home practice assignments are all designed to ensure parents are acquiring the stated competencies.
In competency based learning, if the parents do not display an understanding or proper utilization of the information and skills presented in the lesson, the lesson is repeated until the competencies have been learned and mastered.
5. Nurturing Programs have built-in Assessment and Evaluation Practices
Assessment is a process where Instructors of the Nurturing Programs gather information from families in order to learn more about them. Such data would include information about their current life conditions, their childhood, their relationship with their partner, their relationship with their children, how much they already know about parenting, and the beliefs they have about raising children. Assessments in the Nurturing Programs occur at three times:
PRE, at the beginning of the program;
PROCESS, during the entire program; and
POST, toward the end of program.
Evaluation is a process that measures the degree of acquisition and accuracy of new knowledge and new skills made by the parents. It also measures the effectiveness of the instructor’s abilities to present new concepts and new skills to parents in a manner that allows the parents to increase their understanding of the new concepts and value the utilization of the new skills. Teaching and learning are partners in a relationship of dependency. Neither one works as well alone as they do together.
Assessment and Evaluation data are gathered using valid and reliable self-report inventories and rating scales, as well as observing parent-child interactions. All the data collection is designed to ensure parents are acquiring the knowledge and skills in developing their nurturing parenting competencies.
6. Pre and Post Program Assessment and Evaluation Measures
The Nurturing Programs incorporate three pre and posttest self-report assessment measures:
Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) is a 40 item, norm-referenced, Likert scale designed to assess the parenting beliefs and practices of adult and adolescent parent and non-parent populations. The AAPI is designed to assess the beliefs for parenting children from infancy to 12 years of age. Responses to the AAPI provide an index of risk for child maltreatment in five parenting practices known to result in child maltreatment. These practices are presented as Constructs:
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.
Parenting Attitudes about Raising Teens Inventory (PARTI) is a norm- reference Likert scale designed to assess the parenting beliefs and practices of raising adolescent’s ages 12 to 20 years of age. There are two versions of the PARTI: one version for the Parents and one version for the Teens. Data generated from the administration of the PARTI can be useful in several settings:
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.
Responses to the PARTI are entered in the computer and a parenting profile is created reflecting the similarities and differences between the parents and their teens. Responses are presented in five categories:
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.
The Nurturing Skills Competency Scale (NSCS) is a criterion-referenced scale designed to gather information in six constructs that can have a significant role in family dysfunction including child abuse and neglect and intimate partner violence. The six constructs of the NSCS are:
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.
There are two different versions of the NSCS that are designed for two different populations of parents you might be working with:
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.
As parent educators, we want to make sure the parents are learning the knowledge and skills presented in the program. Gathering information during the program to ensure parents are learning is called process evaluation. Process evaluation occurs at the end of each class session. If the parent has not adequately learned the information and skills, the lesson is repeated. There are three process evaluation measures used in the Nurturing Programs.
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.
Concurrently, the instructors are also rating each parent on how well they learned each of the lesson competencies. Ratings by the instructors occur when parents are demonstrating skills with their child (ren) during Family Nurturing Time, and/or how well they do in explaining concepts during class time.
Uniqueness of the Nurturing Parenting Programs
The Nurturing Parenting Programs have several unique features that make the programs effective:
Nurturing Parenting Programs are designed for the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. The programs are utilized nationwide to improve the lives of families ravaged by dysfunction.
The Nurturing Programs are family based interventions where parents and their children learn similar knowledge and skills for improving the quality of their lives.
Built in assessment strategies allow facilitators and parents to chart the course of their successes.
Families can attend group-based programs, home-based programs, or a combination of group and home-based sessions.
The flexibility within the structure of the programs allows facilitators to ensure the specific needs of families are being met.
The nurturing philosophy of non-violent parenting focuses on the development of empathy, self-worth, self-awareness, empowerment, discipline with dignity, appropriate family roles and age-appropriate expectations of children's development.
Lesson guides, DVDs, parent handbooks, and assessment inventories provide facilitators with individual lessons designed to promote individual and family growth.
Parents and children learn how to play games, sing songs and have fun as a family.
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 world wide.
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!