KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

Count All Kids in Census 2020: Child Health & Schools Depend On it!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 @ 11:51 AM

Young children are too often missed in the Census counts.  We need the Census 2020 to be a full count of all of our children and families. The Count All Kids Campaign is reaching out nationwide to work with community advocates, policy makers, service providers, schools, and childcare programs to inform and persuade families with young children to fill out the census questionnaires and include ALL of their children from birth through 18 years old.  In the 2010 census it’s estimated that more than 2 million children were missed. The largest age group missed was children birth to five years old. This resulted in 36 states in the US losing over $500 million a year in funding from programs such as Medicaid, children’s health, foster care, adoption assistance and foster care. School districts lost nearly $1700 per year for every child missed. More than 300 federal programs use census data to determine how federal funds are allocated to state and local governments. These dollars fund childcare, schools, children’s health insurance, school meals, housing assistance, roads and highways, plus numerous other services.  

Image: https://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-room/2020-census-kit

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services

Get Kids & Families Ready for School. It’s All About Relationships!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 02:00 PM

Years ago, we used to hold preschool teachers responsible for preparing children for school. Today, we realize that early learning begins at home with babies and their families. Yet, many families of young children need information and support to nurture their children's learning and to navigate the early years of their children's development. The most effective early childhood programs are built around a commitment to family-staff partnerships that focus on both the child and the parent. With the proliferation of Birth to 5 programs, collaborative teams of families and practitioners typically partner to ensure that children are ready for school. A specialized team that includes therapists and/or infant/family mental health specialists is often needed for children at high risk for developmental delays or with disabilities who may need extra support.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child relationship, school readiness, early intervention, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services, Getting Ready model, children with disabilities

How Can We Help Parents Cope with the Burden of Toxic Stress?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 11:54 AM

Do the Holidays Bring Joy or Stress?

A little stress in life can be useful. It may motivate people to stop procrastinating, take better care of their health, or explore new opportunities. However, too often the lavishness of the holidays depicted in stores and in advertisements may bring families stress rather than joy. These messages may act as reminders of the stress from lack of food and clothing for their family, lack of safe, stable housing, insufficient health care, or violence in their family or neighborhood.  This stress for parents and children may grow heavier in the face of our society’s extravagant holiday glee.  Eventually, the accumulation of such burdens takes a toll on parents’ and children’s mental or physical health and well-being.  The continual weight can lead to toxic stress when powerful, frequent or ongoing harmful experiences trigger a person’s defenses to freeze, fight or flee.  Carrying this burden of toxic stress can be so overwhelming that it disrupts a family’s nurturance, their relationships and routines.

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Tags: parent-child relationship, engagement-parent, family, community, adverse experiences/toxic stress, family support-partnership-services, coping with stress

New Muppet Helps Kids and Families Talk About Foster Care

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

This summer Sesame Street in Communities introduced a new Muppet named Karli to its young audience with the help of Elmo, one of their most beloved characters.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, family support-partnership-services, foster children, foster families

Five Ways to Prepare for a Baby as a Single Disabled Parent

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 @ 04:01 PM

Guest Blog by

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. 

She created Disabled Parents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. 

When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

 

Becoming a parent is an immense privilege, but it's also a time full of challenges. Having a disability can complicate things, and as a single parent, there are other obstacles to overcome. However, the joys that come with parenthood are profound, and with the right preparation, the stresses and challenges we face can be overcome. 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parenting stress, family support-partnership-services, parenting support, parents with disabilities

Parenting Matters! Guide to Effective Intervention

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

A year ago in the KIPS Blog we announced the exceptional Parenting Matters report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. We are delighted that they have developed an interactive infographic on the Elements of Effective Intervention to make it easy to find the information you seek in this 400-page book. The infographic  links graphics to relevant chapters of the comprehensive 2016 report. Simply click on the graphics in the 7 slides of the infographic to go to specific sections of the report to learn more about each topic. You can purchase the entire book or, thankfully, download the full text of the report as a PDF at no charge. 

In case ou missed it, below is our previous description of the contents of the report.

 A 400-page report, Parenting Matters! has just been released by the National Academies of Science. This title is music to the ears of those of us who have made a career of working to promote quality parenting.  The report from the United States premier scientific authority validates our work, as is clear from its full title:Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8.  It reveals the results of a study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, along with the Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as several private foundations. 

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Tags: evidence-based, family support-partnership-services, parenting skills, parenting matters

Tips for Supporting ESL Staff with Online Parenting Assessment Training

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Thu, Dec 01, 2016 @ 05:54 PM

Guest Blog by

Theresa Zighera, Evaluation Officer

First 5 San Francisco

We have learned a few important things over the years with regard to training and support for staff taking the KIPS parenting assessment course when their first language is one other than English or Spanish. We had the advantage of being able to set up small group trainings and have peer translators (over time we were also able to have translators who had also already become KIPS certified), which made a big difference and is recommended whenever possible.

Aside from translation support, read on to learn some of the other strategies we utilized.

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Tags: parenting assessment training, family support-partnership-services, online training, diverse staff

Good News: US Policy Changes Reflect Parenting Research!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 @ 05:14 PM

Raise your hand if you’re in favor of positive parent-child relationships. . . .  My hand’s up.  Is yours?  The great news is we are not alone.  We now have friends in high places. If you are affiliated with a family service organization, it’s likely that promoting positive parent-child relationships has been one your major program outcomes for years (see listings in HOMVEE, CEBC). In 2016, the U.S. government has followed in your footsteps and written the parent-child relationship into policy.  During the last couple of months we’ve seen 3 major federal announcements spotlighting parenting.  At last, policy for child and family services is following the longstanding research detailing the benefits of positive parenting for children’s health, brain development and learning.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, Early Head Start, Head Start, evidence-based, family support-partnership-services, parenting skills, MIECHV

Congratulations! Uncle Sam Believes Your Support for Quality Parenting Matters

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 06:00 AM

A new 400-page report, Parenting Matters! has just been released by the National Academies of Science. This title is music to the ears of those of us who have made a career of working to promote quality parenting.  The report from the United States premier scientific authority validates our work, as is clear from its full title:Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8.  It reveals the results of a study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, along with the Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as several private foundations. 

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Tags: evidence-based, family support-partnership-services, parenting skills, parenting matters

Go Beyond Child Welfare; Support Child & Family Well-Being

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Sat, May 21, 2016 @ 04:45 PM

This blog was posted initially on HuffPost Parents on 05/02/2016 and is shared with permission.

Creating a 21st Century Child Well-Being System

Matthew Melmed 

Executive Director, ZERO TO THREE

International leader and advocate for infants

As National Child Abuse Prevention Month draws to a close, we take time to reflect on how we protect young children and make new plans to move forward. The final report of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities seems a fitting, though sorrowful, place to start.

According to the Commission’s report, between 1,500 and 3,000 children — three-quarters of them babies and preschool-age children — become fatalities each year as a result of maltreatment, ending short lives that never had a chance to blossom. In fact, more than 700,000 children experienced substantiated maltreatment in 2014, including 192,000 infants and toddlers who face long developmental odds because of this experience.

Encouragingly, the report calls for a new 21st Century Child Welfare System. We absolutely need such a system to replace the current dysfunctional one that fails to get to the heart of families’ problems and children’s well-being, but we shouldn’t stop there. We need a 21st Century Child Well-Being System - a system that includes child welfare and also offers a comprehensive and integrated system of services designed to proactively support families with young children to help them thrive. By addressing the needs of families before there is a crisis, we can work toward the goal of ultimately reducing the number of families that become involved with Child Protective Services.

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Tags: home visiting, child abuse/neglect prevention, family support-partnership-services, child well-being