Last fall, Santa Maria Community Services partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center to bring Parents on Point to Price Hill. Established in Chicago under the name Chicago Parent Program, the 12-week program was brought to Santa Maria after its success in two of Cincinnati’s Avondale communities in 2017.
Parents on Point is a community-based support group for caregivers of children ages 2-5 and was created to empower and support participants in raising healthy and happy young children. The program brings caregivers in the community together to build connections, share ideas, and help each other problem solve common parenting dilemmas. It supports families’ ability to nurture and promote optimal emotional and behavioral development of their children by building upon parents’ skills and increasing their confidence as caregivers. Furthermore, it promotes positive parent and child relationships and interactions.
During the 12-week program, the Parents on Point group served 27 Price Hill caregivers of 2-5-year-old children, and
provided weekly meals, childcare, and transportation to participants. Six Santa Maria team members were trained
to facilitate two groups split between English speakers and Spanish speakers. Staff included members from Santa
Maria’s Workforce Development Program, Education Program, and Early Childhood Development Programs, and support from Cincinnati Children’s. Facilitators received comprehensive training to master skills needed to deliver program curriculum, facilitate group sessions and moderate group discussions, and organize resources that support parents’ ability to participate in the program.
According to Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the Chicago Parent Program has been shown to improve parenting skills and confidence and reduce behavioral problems in young children 2-5 years old. The program is listed on the National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices and can be used as part of a comprehensive prevention or treatment program for helping parents of young children with or at risk for developing serious behavior problems.
In an evaluation of the Price Hill Parents on Point group, Cincinnati Children’s stated that 97% of parents reported
improvement in their child’s behavior since participating in the program, and 99% of parents felt more confident in managing their child’s behavior. “Parents on Point gave me the opportunity to be a better mother,” said one parent. “We learned together, laughed together, even cried together somedays but overall we cared together.”
In January, caregivers celebrated their accomplishments at a graduation ceremony with family and staff from Santa Maria and Cincinnati Children’s. Each received a graduation certificate and were caped to symbolize their success as “Super Parents.”