We truly have a "heart for families" and the agencies that are dedicated to serving them. Because we now serve more areas beyond Georgia, our new name better describes the scope and reach of our services. The acronym "HEARTS" explains the different ways we support communities and help parents raise healthy and successful children.
All families will have access to quality parenting education to enhance their quality of life. Children will grow in a nurturing environment with parents active and confident in their role as the first and most important teacher. Children are free of child abuse, child neglect and substance abuse, which allows them to learn and succeed in school and other educational environments.
These are our core values, which permeate throughout the organization in order to achieve our vision and mission:
Nurturing Georgia's Families Project®(NGF)
Get free training and materials to provide a program in your community! NGF works to prevent the cited problem of child abuse, neglect, and substance abuse via in-home visitation and group-based programming. Since its establishment in 1997, NGF has expanded across 74 counties and is currently the highest funded prevention contractor for the State of Georgia. The project is funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD). NGF includes three strategies for prevention, including community-based workshops, training, and program delivery.
Workshops can be held in a variety of settings, and are offered for FREE in 74 counties. The goal of the community-based workshops are to educate a community on protective parenting practices that can lead to strong, nurturing relationships that can help prevent substance abuse and violence. The workshops can be tailored and targeted toward community members but are considered primary prevention and provide useful information for anyone attending. A secondary, strategic goal of the workshops is to expose parents with a stigma-free approach to parenting education where the next step would be a full parenting program. HEARTS plans to begin targeting programs in communities where workshops are being held so those who desire additional support can participate in a full parenting program.
The workshop "12 Steps to Keeping Your Kids Drug Free" has recently been evaluated by Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. Significant increases were achieved from pre to post in participants' beliefs in their ability to talk to their children about drugs.
Trainings are a way to build the capacity of community partners to offer the Nurturing Parenting Programs with program fidelity. The complete training model is competency-based and incorporates training for referral agencies, supervisors, and agency staff. The training prepares agencies for successful program implementation. The last step before program implementation is program planning within the targeted community.
All training participants are assessed through quantitative and qualitative measures. If a training participant needs additional support or additional training (as identified through the evaluation process) it is arranged and offered. HEARTS partners with quality facilitators that score 80% or higher on assessments with an average of a 6.0 or higher on the five parenting constructs measured by the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory. In the past 13 years, HEARTS has successfully met its goal to offer quality trainings with satisfied training participants.
HEARTS offers the Nurturing Parenting Programs to local communities. The Nurturing Georgia's Families Project follows SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's Strategic Prevention Framework by: