Bringing Families Together
The prevention of child maltreatment continues to be a priority for the IPC. Because of the commitment to implement only evidence-informed programs, the IPC is partnering with Family Compass (formerly the Child Abuse Prevention Center) and the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation (VMYDF) to implement a 3-year program to promote healthy, stable families in the Vickery Meadow area. The program, entitled Bringing Families Together, utilizes a train the trainer model to engage families and community stakeholders in providing education and support to the local community to prevent child abuse.
The program consists of the following three components:
- Strengthening Families Community Meetings – The VMYDF conducts weekly parent meetings through an apartment complex in Vickery Meadow. Through these meetings, parents are able to receive information on topics that they request and be connected to community resources. Additionally, parents are trained to lead meetings and initiatives, thus empowering them to contribute to change in their community. Parents are recruited from the community meetings to receive Triple P parenting education or participate in a Parents Anonymous® Support Group.
- Triple P Parenting Program – Triple P is a multi-level system of parenting interventions based on need. The U.S. Triple P System Trial found an 84% reduction in substantiated abuse cases, an 88% reduction in child out-of-home placements, and an 86% reduction in hospitalizations and emergency room visits for child injuries in nine study counties in South Carolina where parenting interventions were implemented (Prinz, 2009).
- Parents Anonymous®Parent-led Support Groups– TheParents Anonymous®program has been endorsed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as an effective program to decrease the risk of child maltreatment.Groups are co-led by parents and professional facilitators trained in the Parents Anonymous® model.
The goal of the Bringing Families Together Program is that 50% of participating parents will have a decrease in parental stress by at least 5%. Additionally, it is expected that participating parents will have increases in protective factors against child maltreatment by at least 5%. Baseline and post-intervention data are being gathered on parental stress and protective factors against child maltreatment utilizing nationally validated survey instruments. A decrease in parental stress and increase in protective factors against child maltreatment have been demonstrated to decrease substantiated child maltreatment. In 2012, 298 parents and children were served through Bringing Families Together. Seventy-seven percent of parents reported increased protective factors against child abuse, and 81% of parents reported decreased use of harsh and evasive parenting