Building Parenting Skills and Confidence through the Parenting Partnership

mom and toddler

Partnership grants, offered through the F5AC Community Grants Initiative since 2003, bring service providers together for intensive training, site-based consultation and peer support to:

During the 2007-09 grants cycle, six community agencies participated in a Parenting Partnership focused on parenting education and support.  

Why is this important?

Research demonstrates that strong families are critical for children’s development. Since the beginning of the Community Grants Initiative in 2000, more than 50% of grants have focused on parenting. The Parenting Partnership was designed to provide additional training and support to community partners working with parents.



Result 1

Increased use of promising practices

Partnership agencies met regularly for training, reflection and discussion (1-2 times per month for 2.5 years) and worked closely with a consultant who supported their adoption of promising practices.

In keeping with best practice, all 6 Parenting Partnership agencies were required to provide:  

  • Parenting education/support for parents/caregivers
  • A children’s component to remove barriers to parent /caregiver participation
  • Parent-child activities where parents/caregivers could put parenting education concepts into practice

To support evaluation efforts, the agencies identified a set of common measures to track parent-level results from their work.  The agencies also received training from the Center for Digital Storytelling on using digital stories to highlight the effectiveness of their programs.




Detail 1: Using Promising Practices [more]

Partnership grantees used a matrix of promising practices to guide quality improvement activities and to assess changes in practice over time.  These pre and post self-assessments, in addition to interviews, reporting, and digital story data, reveal where shifts in practice occurred. 


Changes included:

  • More thoughtful planning and reflection on the delivery of parenting education/support and children’s programming
  • More consistent use of a strength-based approach with families
  • Increased focus on cultural responsiveness
  • Increased use of reflective practice
  • Increased collaboration – both intra-agency and inter-agency


Provider Voice:

“Through our involvement in the Parenting Partnership we implemented many of the promising practices that were covered in the trainings. We have become more aware of the impact of the physical environment [on children]; we actively create more culturally sensitive programming…and the staff has become more educated in special needs topics... The staff feels more confident in working with both the children and the parents and we have a more family-centered philosophy...” 


All of the agencies produced one or more digital stories highlighting changes in provider practice and in families.


Learning in Action" by Jessica Delaney, Family Support Services of the Bay Area highlights how one Partnership grantee restructured a play space to create a more supportive learning environment for young children.



Result 2

More integrated support to families; more parent-child play; and greater confidence among parents

The 6 Parenting Partnership agencies served approximately 260-370 families per year and offered services in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. 








Detail 1: Screening and Development Activities [more]

Over a period of 2.5 years, the agencies provided:

  • 217 developmental screenings
  • 762 parent education/support groups
  • 141 parent child playgroups
  • 542 parent-child activities

Detail 2: Impact on Parents [more]

Parents who received services reported:

  • Playing more with their children (2008-09: 230 out of 243 or 95%)
  • More confidence in their parenting (2008-09: 235 out of 257 or 91%)
  • Reductions in level of parenting related stress


A Good Father” by Vincent Cheng, 4C’s of Alameda County recounts the changes a father has made in order to parent his children in a different way than he was raised.


Additional digital stories from the Parenting Partnership and a full account of the results can be found at: Families First: Stories of Love and Learning

Increased use of promising practices
More integrated support to families; more parent-child play; and greater confidence among parents

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