(Funded partially by RBC Grant) Family Counseling Service will be offering a unique, innovative 16-week program for expectant and new parents integrating two evidence-based curriculums; the Nurturing Parents program and the RealCare Parenting Program. Through behavioral health counseling and education, expectant and new parents will understand the importance of nurturing touch and infant massage, how to handle stress and anger, prevent drug-related birth defects, understand fetal growth & development, identify unhealthy possessive & violent partner relationships,and, through the use of the Realityworks infant simulator, will be able to practice the newly learned skills using the most realistic infant care experience as possible. (The RealCare Baby II is an effective teaching tool; the "baby" requires round-the-clock care that includes feeding, burping, diapering, rocking, proper head support, and proper positioning. Babies are equipped with sensors to detect abuse or mishandling.) The Nurturing Parents program component includes a Pre- and Post- Assessment of parenting skills, a Nurturing Skills Competency Scale, parent handbooks, Nurturing Touch Handbooks, Alternatives to Spanking Series, and a Facilitators Guide. The program will be facilitated by a Masters level Social Worker or Mental Health Counselor.
The Toddler and Pre-school children learn nurturing through games, fun interactive activities, coloring books, stories, puppets, and discussion.
For the School-age children two subgroups are created: ages 5 to 8, and ages 9 to 12. Children in these age groups learn many of the same concepts that are being taught to the parents.
Teens participate in their own group that meets concurrently with their parents. After break time, parents and teens sty together in one group. Role play, discussions, and expressive art activities help parents and teens build positive, nurturing relationships.
This program will help Teen Parents understand the importance of touching their infants, understanding the art of discipline, rewarding children’s appropriate behavior, alternatives to spanking, building self-worth and personal power, and communication skills.
This program is specifically designed for our military families to help improve the nurturing parenting skills of parents in the military with children ages birth to 5 years old.