Family Support Info
Family Support Program Model
Parent education treatment groups are for parents who have been court-mandated to complete a parenting group. Treatment groups are designed for families where abuse, neglect, or family violence has occurred or who are at high risk for abuse, neglect, or family violence due to either the presence of 1 or more risk factors or limited protective factors. We conduct a one-hour, comprehensive intake assessment to determine goodness of fit for our program and the need for service referrals. Part of our assessment includes the Adult Adolescent Parent Inventory-2 (AAPI-2), which measures risk for behaviors attributable to child maltreatment on multiple parenting constructs (i.e., expectations of children, parental empathy, corporal punishment, parent-child roles, and children’s power-independence).
Family Support Program Curriculum
Our treatment groups utilize a trauma-informed, research-based, evidence-informed, and strengths-based curriculum. Theories and/or research guiding the curriculum include attachment theory, social learning theory, and traumatic stress. The intensive group format allows for in-depth and comprehensive coverage of each topic from a therapeutic perspective that provides the necessary time for attitudinal and behavioral changes to occur. Curriculum topics include, but are not limited to: changing behavior; nurturing; empathy; family of origin; trauma; attachment; child development; separation; grief; loss; positive discipline; setting limits; consistency; consequences; co-parenting; prevention of sexual abuse; communication; and stress and coping skills. Groups meet for a minimum of 30 hours, the recommended best practice dosage for a tertiary level program (See, Virginia Statewide Parent Education Toolkit, for Best Practices in Parent Education: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/59/2016/11/Virginia-Parent-Education-Coalition-Tool-Kit.pdf)
Family Support Program Goals
The general goal of the family support program is to increase parental protective factors (i.e., resilience) and to reduce risk factors (i.e., lack of support, knowledge, and resources). At the beginning of each group, all parents develop several individualized treatment goals (e.g., utilizing positive discipline, completing a mental health evaluation, or seeking additional resources and services) that most significantly impact their parenting.
Family Support Children’s Groups
All children of parents enrolled in the family support program are invited to participate in our children’s groups offered at the same time as the parenting groups. Our children’s groups provide safe, structured environments where children are provided with an opportunity to have positive relationships with an adult and other children. We utilize a structured curriculum that seeks to build upon and strengthen a child’s communication and social skills, self-esteem, empathy, and ability to express and manage their feelings in a fun environment.