Clearinghouse Resource


The Parenting Imperative: Investing in Parents so Children and Youth Succeed


Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC), National Human Services Assembly


Washington, DC: National Human Services Assembly, Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC)

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

October 2007, 29 pages

Description of Resource

Provides recommendations on using an ecological model for parenting success that links the family, community, and public policies to support parents as effective caregivers for children. This model uses four concentric circles with the child and family first at the center; second is the primary environments of school, work and faith communities; third is local context of the neighborhood and family service systems; and fourth is the macro system of economic/social structures and public policy. Many families face at-risk situations, such as poverty, poor health, and social isolation, preventing community services to support the parents as they care for their children. The response calls for unparalleled mobilization of resources and services to address families in distress by following seven steps: (1) identifying high risk families; (2) understanding the issues facing these families; (3) developing goals to measure progress; (4) focusing on high impact areas for strategic investment; (5) investing in policies, program and service to directly support the parent, (6) developing strategies to connect with higher risk families through door-to-door outreach, and (7) advocating for state and federal policy changes to coordinate parenting success investments. Recommendations for implementation begin with reducing fragmentation in policies and programs, improving existing parenting resources, and involving parents as decision makers to influence the future direction of community services. (IP)