KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

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

Infant Mental Health Awareness - Conference UK June 2016

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 @ 06:56 PM

Guest Blog by

Robin Balbernie, Clinical Director

Parent Infant Partnership UK

We are launching the UK's first Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 6-10 June which sees over 100 Royal Colleges and organisations signed up for a national calendar of events to impact upon local communities and increase life chances for babies and their relationships. As part of this week there will be a week-long exhibition in Parliament bringing artists and scientists together to showcase the evidence behind investing early into human potential. For the first time in the UK there will be Infant Mental Health Awards which seek to raise the profile and understanding of the importance of the first 1001 days of a child’s life: conception to age 2

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parenting quality, home visiting, early intervention, infant mental health

Parenting Assessment Shows Family Success in PAT Programs

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @ 04:35 PM

Earlier this month I was privileged to co-present a workshop with two KIPS parenting assessment users at the 2015 Strong Families AZ Home Visiting Conference, sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and attended by many of those involved in Arizona Strong Families.  The wide variety of workshops packed into the two-day conference targeted topics of interest to the full gamut of conference participants -- Home Visitors, Supervisors and Administrators.

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Tags: parenting outcomes, Parenting Assessment, home visiting, Parents as Teachers, parenting program funding - advocacy

What’s Wrong with “Home Visiting”? New Research Says . . .

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 02:12 PM

The Pew Charitable Trusts held the Fifth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs in Washington, DC this month.  It offered an abundance of information on cutting edge home visiting research and interventions.  Like last year (if you missed it, see our blog), one of the most thought-provoking sessions was about the messages conveyed to moms by the words Home Visiting.

At this year’s Summit the same public opinion research and communication strategists, Bill McInturff and Michael Bloomfield, presented another series of studies on Language to Engage Families (Select Presentation Materials tab; Scroll down to Morning Plenary: Language to Engage Families).  Like last year, they concluded that Home Visiting is the wrong term for what many of us do, and especially for engaging families in valuable, much-needed services.  The researchers emphasized that Home Visiting sends the wrong message to gain support for funding from adults in the general community (surveyed last year), as well as to enroll moms who are prospective home visiting program participants.

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Tags: home visiting, parenting assessments, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services

Messages that Work for Home Visiting & Parenting Programs

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 @ 04:29 PM

I’m excited to share with you highlights from the final keynote presentation at the 2014 National Summit on the Quality of Home Visiting Programs. I found it a refreshing surprise. Most of the Summit sessions addressed issues and interventions related to “toxic stress” experienced by children and families.  We highlighted another keynote by Andrew Garner in a prior post.  However, this final session presented by Bill McInturff, Public Opinion Strategies, and Michael Bloomfield, the Mellman Group, coached us regarding the messages we need to convey at the local, state and federal levels to rally support for home visiting with families of young children.  I want to share this with you because the information can help you advocate for your program.  As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, we can cite Nobel Prize winner James Heckman’s call for investment in early childhood and focusing on parenting, and the value of strengthening parent-child relationships that build foundations for lifelong health and development.  But we must first grab the attention of funders, legislators and the community and hold their attention while we share the evidence base for home visiting, parent support, and family services.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, home visiting, parenting program funding - advocacy

Home Visiting’s Role in Supporting Parents in Addressing Toxic Stress

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

This week I’m going to the Fourth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs in Washington DC, sponsored by the Pew Trust and Every Child Succeeds.  Hundreds of  practitioners, model developers, researchers and policy makers are gathering to learn and share current experiences and program outcomes from the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). I am excited to hear about innovations in the home visiting field.  We are all hopeful that the 2014 federal budget will continue to support and expand early learning and family support programs, and replace some of the funds lost during the 2013 sequester.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, home visiting, adverse experiences/toxic stress