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Promoting First Relationships®

Model Overview

Last Updated

June 2015


Theoretical Model

The model, based on attachment theory, posits that developing strong early relationships with caregivers is the key to healthy social, emotional, behavioral, language, and cognitive development in children. The program aims to foster parent- and caregiver-child relationships by helping parents and caregivers read and understand child cues and the unmet need behind challenging behaviors, and supporting parents’ use of sensitive and responsive caregiving behaviors.


Model Components

PFR can be implemented with parents in the home or in other settings, and with early childhood teachers and providers. Regardless of setting or type of caregiver, PFR involves providing feedback based on video recordings of parent/caregiver interactions with children.

When PFR is implemented with parents in the home, the home visitor makes video recordings of the parent interacting with their child at home, and the home visitor and parent view and reflect on the recordings. The home visitor highlights positive interactions observed and offers instructive comments to enhance caregiving. The home visitor also helps the parent reflect on both their and their child’s behavior, feelings, and needs during the interaction. In addition, PFR provides parents with information, including handouts, on the social and emotional needs of infants and toddlers, and strategies to meet these needs. The home visitor and the parent discuss ways to handle challenging behaviors and explore the parent’s own social-emotional development and how that influences their caregiving.


Target Population

PFR targets parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 3 years.


Where to Find Out More

Jennifer Rees
Program and Training Manager
University of Washington
CHDD South Building Room 212
Box 357920
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 616-5380