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Implementing Nurturing Parenting Programs (Birth to Age 5)

Program Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2015

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The information in this profile reflects feedback from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model here, including any adaptations, may differ from how it was implemented in the studies reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the DHHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness.

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Implementation Support

The Nurturing Parenting Programs are trauma-informed, family-based programs designed to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect by teaching families positive and caring nurturing skills. Family Development Resources, Inc. provides programmatic materials, training, and ongoing technical assistance to support program implementation. Training and support are also provided by Family Nurturing Centers, which are organizations licensed by Family Nurturing Centers, International, to provide training, technical assistance, and services.

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Theoretical Model

The Nurturing Parenting Programs are family-based prevention and intervention programs designed to develop nurturing parenting practices. The program is competency-based. Each group- and home-based session has stated competencies intended to measure when parents have acquired a new understanding and demonstrate new skills that represent nurturing parenting strategies and practices. The underlying theoretical assumptions of the Nurturing Parenting Programs are the following:

  1. Human behavior is multidimensional. The positive and negative impacts of life’s past events shape our cognitive, emotional, and neurological responses to current events.
  2. Positive and negative life events carry both cognitive and affective cellular memories. Over time, repeated events create neural pathways. These neural pathways strongly influence behavior.
  3. Nurturing Parenting instruction is based on proven psycho-educational and cognitive-behavioral approaches to learning. In these approaches, awareness, understanding, and acceptance are emphasized and old patterns of thought and behavior are replaced with newer, healthier ones.
  4. Nurturing Parenting embraces the theory of re-parenting. In the practice of re-parenting, new patterns of behavior replace older, destructive ones over time. Long-term dysfunctional patterns of behavior require long-term interventions that allow new patterns of thought and behavior to incubate and take hold.
  5. Nurturing oneself as a man or a woman is paramount to becoming a nurturing father or mother. Parents who take care of themselves are better suited to take care of another person.
  6. Parenting is a role with defined responsibilities that promote the growth and development of parents’ sons and daughters into healthy and caring children. When parenting is perceived as a 24/7 obligation, parents lose sight of their own needs as men and women and begin to resent the basic needs of their children. Men and women who make the commitment to regularly get their own needs met are better able to meet the needs of their children.
  7. Parenting beliefs are learned early in life from the experiences a child has during the process of growing up. Beliefs are formulated from four factors: perceptions of events throughout childhood; knowledge and understanding of these events; the emotional impact the events have in developing a perception of reality; and the perceived value of these events by family members and close friends.
  8. For parents to change longstanding maladaptive beliefs regarding parenting—and consequently their parenting behaviors—they must receive long-term, family-based education provided in competency-based lessons offered in a sequential manner.

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Target Population

The Nurturing Parenting Programs target families at risk for abuse and neglect with children from the prenatal period to age 18. There are five general Nurturing Parenting Programs that specifically target children during the prenatal period or from birth to age 5 that can be delivered primarily in the home (several adaptations and enhancements have been developed; see Adaptations and Enhancements for more information):

  • Nurturing Program for Prenatal Families
  • Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers
  • Nurturing Program for Teen Parents and their Children
  • Nurturing Skills for Families Program
  • Nurturing Skills for Teen Parents Program

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Targeted Outcomes

The long-term goal of the Nurturing Parenting Programs is to stop the intergenerational cycle of child maltreatment. The programs aim to accomplish this through empowering family self-sufficiency; increasing parental knowledge and skills in child development; and increasing parent-child attachments and positive family experiences.

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Program Model Components

Nurturing Programs for adult parents or young (teen) parents and their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can be delivered in three models: (1) home-based only; (2) group-based only; or (3) combination group- and home-based. The focus of this report is on the home-based service option.

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Program Model Intensity and Length

Depending on the model selected, the home-based–only model for adult and teen parents and their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers contains up to 55 weekly home sessions each lasting 1.5 hours.

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Location

Nurturing Parenting Programs (including home-based programs) are currently implemented in all 50 states plus Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, England, France, Greenland, Guam, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the Virgin Islands, and the West Indies.

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Adaptations and Enhancements

The Nurturing Parenting Programs have been adapted or enhanced to serve families with specific cultural backgrounds or life circumstances. The following adaptations and enhancements serve families with children birth to age 5 and are designed to be delivered in the home:

Crianza con Cariño para Padres y Niños is designed to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking families with children from birth to age 5. Program materials and assessment tools have been developed and normed for Hispanic families.

Nurturing America’s Military Families is designed to improve the nurturing parenting skills of parents in the military with children from birth to age 11.

The Nurturing Program for Parents and their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges is designed to help parents and their children with chronic or life threatening medical conditions, developmental delays, life-altering disorders, and disabilities. The program can be offered in a group or home-based setting.

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Notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2015. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by Family Development Resources, Inc. on April 9, 2015. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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