- 690 parents participated
- Parents received nearly 3,000 program hours
- Approximately 1,400 children benefited
- 30 partners collaborated
- 9 Parenting Educators facilitated programs
Families First assesses the impact of our programs using data from parent participants, community partners, and our Parenting Educators. Regularly analyzing this data enables us to understand the impact of our programs and continuously improve our work.
Participating parents reported improvement in:
- Confidence in taking care of their child (92%)
- Enjoyment of spending time with their child (94%)
- Ability to set age-based expectations (93%)
- Connection to other parents (78%)
All of our programs are evidence informed and centered on the Five Protective Factors framework. With these factors in place, families are able to thrive. Below are examples of evaluation results that show our impact in relation to each Protective Factor.
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
A knowledgeable parent is able to better understand, and therefore better support, the needs of his or her children.
“Families First has benefited me in being able to find a correct and effective approach when trying to communicate with my child so that we can both understand each other well.”
Parents in our programs reported the following improvements...
- Stronger understanding of children
- Understand the “why” behind behaviors
- Stronger communication and discipline strategies
- Stay calm
- More talking, less yelling
- Listen and encourage their children more
- More open-minded in conversations
- More use of positive parenting tactics
- Implement routines for their children
- Allow their children to make choices
- Take time for themselves
Social and Emotional Competence of Children
Parents’ supportive interactions and knowledge of child development build children’s abilities to self-regulate and communicate how they feel. With these abilities, they can build strong relationships throughout their lives.
“Now I try to understand my children’s perspectives and reflect on how they will feel when I speak to them a certain way. I listen, understand, and respect them.
“I’ve also seen changes in my son’s behavior… my son would act out physically, no listening. But now he uses his words; he tells me, ‘Mommy I don’t like this’ or ‘A friend hurt my feelings.’ And he holds me and his dad accountable for what we do, so I don’t get away with anything!” – Gigi, parent leader
A resilient parent manages stress and functions well when faced with parenting challenges. Being able to manage this stress enables parents to better care for themselves and their families.
“I give myself a time-out because I’m a yeller; so I go in my room. I take space so I can communicate. We’ll talk through the space under the door or the keyhole, and it works.”
Through our programs, parents learn and practice new ways of managing their stress.
Parents reported the following improvements:
- Awareness of how stress affects a parent’s relationship with their child
- Use of strategies to manage parenting stress
- Confidence in parenting
Using our Identity Mapping evaluation tool, we are able to capture increases in parental resilience.
The Identity Map below demonstrates one parent’s negative emotions before the program and an entirely new outlook after the program. With the confidence and strategies she gained, she was able to see her parenting and relationship with her children in a more positive light.
A parent who is connected to other parents is able to grow his or her network of family support.
“There are a lot of things I now realize… I’m not just by myself. Other people deal with the same issue.”
Families First provides a comfortable space for parents to spend an extended amount of time together, enabling them to build connections with one another.
Over the past year, our impact in this area has grown tremendously. From sharing strategies to becoming like a family, parents connected as they increased their networks of support around parenting.
Concrete Support in Times of Need
A parent whose basic needs are met is able to focus more on his or her family.
“I didn’t have a driver’s license, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t finish high school, so it was hard to find a good paying job… but my son was my motivation.” – Omaira, parent participant
Collaborating with strong community partners allows us to expand beyond parenting support to meet additional family needs. This year, our efforts with partners allowed us to better support parents in the following areas:
- Housing services
- Financial literacy training and assistance
- Interview guidance and attire
- College credits
“Families First supports me to do whatever I want to do. If I want to take over the world, they’re like ‘We’re right there with you, Gigi!'” – Gigi, parent leader