Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brown County: Parent Counseling Very Effective

Parenting, we know, is the most important thing we do yet prepare for the least. It becomes a major problem with parents in at-risk families who frequently didn't have good parenting models themselves. What they "know" to do often has poor results, yet they have the same aspirations for effectiveness that we all do.
Now, Brown County has a success model. The Community Partnership for Children now has funding to interview new mothers in Brown County (while still at the hospital) and ascertain whether she is in an "at risk" situation, and if so, to provide many of them (funding doesn't yet allow all) a counselor in parenting skills. The counselor works with the new Mom (and Dad) in one-on-one situations as well as the classroom.
Effective? Look at these results for the counselor who works out of the Howe Neighborhood Family Resource Center. It covers the first four months of counseling, with the scale 1-7. (Other counselors work out of other agencies, although funding still doesn't allow intense attention to every "at risk" family.)
1. I know whom to contact and where to go in the community when I need help. Before: 4.7 After: 6.1
2. I have confidence in my ability to parent and help my children develop. Before: 4.7 After: 6.5
3. I make choices about family schedules and activities that reduce family stress. Before: 4.1 After: 6.7
4. I know discipline methods other than hitting and spanking. Before: 5.1 After: 7
5. I set clear and realistic limits for my children. Before: 4.3 After: 6.7
6. I know what to expect as my children learn and grow. Before: 4.0 After: 6.0
7. I know how to keep my children safe and healthy. Before: 5.1 After: 6.9

The Moms were then asked to be specific, to list what they are now doing differently with their kids, and there was a long list of changes they have made.
Wow! The program is modeled after a very successful one in Hampden, West Virginia. It followed an initial effort stimulated by United Way that has been broadened to widen its impact. Something like 44% of all babies born in Brown County are to "at risk" families.
These are our current workers, and parents of our future ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment