Assess What Matters to Children:
Their Parents' Behavior
Parenting behavior has consistently been proven to be one of the most important contributors to healthy child development and well-being. That is the main reason many family service programs focus on improving parenting. The movement toward evidence-based practices has sparked greater interest in assessing parenting outcomes. Although necessary, assessing fidelity to the program model is woefully insufficient.
Nine Ways Parenting Assessment Can Power Your Program
1. Documents evidence of parenting outcomes
2. Tailors services to individual parenting strengths & needs
3. Monitors progress and guides service planning
4. Reinforces parenting progress and confidence
5. Serves as a parenting check-up as children develop
6. Shifts staff focus from child to parent-child interactions
7. Offers a common language for staff, families & programs
8. Builds reflective practice during supervision
9. Informs continuous quality improvement for programs
Observational assessment offers an objective means to assess what parents actually do, rather than what they report to do in surveys. It is the parent's behavior that impacts the child directly, so behavior is essential to assess.Programs need to assess parenting outcomes because improvement in parenting is often a stated goal. Even when implementing an evidence-based model with high fidelity, local programs serving diverse families and communities cannot be certain of their parenting outcomes due to regional, cultural, temporal, or other local factors. Thus, programs need to directly and routinely assess parenting to ensure their program's effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement.
"[KIPS] tells you a lot about the parent-child interaction
and the bonding. It opens up the doorway to talk about
things that the parent might not be getting - and those
are topics that you wouldn't necessarily approach if
they weren't scored."
. . . says a Healthy Families Supervisor
Observational parenting assessment documents outcomes, enhances family services and promotes continuous quality improvement. You can make the case for funding by using a reliable and valid instrument to prove that your program increases parenting quality. Furthermore, observational parenting assessment can strengthen your program, your staff and your families in numerous ways.
On the Comfort Consults website you'll find a free download describing Nine Ways Parenting Assessment Can Power Your Program Please feel free to share this paper with your colleagues to reflect on what observational parenting assessment can do for you and your program.
If you have discovered other powers of observational assessment, please let us know at info@ComfortConsults.com.