Family Thriving Program

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  • Maternal and Infant Health
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Overview

The Family Thriving Program (FTP), a child abuse prevention intervention, was designed as an add-on to the Healthy Start home visitation program (rather than as a free-standing program). Home visitation programs involve the provision of education to mothers (or perspective mothers), assistance in establishing connections with relevant community agencies, and establishing potential sources of social support. The Family Thriving Program supplements these programs by assisting parents in the cognitive and motivational re-framing of commonly-occurring caregiving challenges. That is, parents are helped to rethink the causes of caregiving challenges, and to become their own information seekers and problem solvers. Parents receiving the FTP are asked by home visitors to review recent parenting problems or other problems that may affect their parenting. Using a series of questions aimed at identifying the problem’s cause, the home visitor arrives at a strategy for addressing the problems raised by the parent, and the home visitor follows up on the results of the strategy in subsequent home visits.

Randomized controlled trials of FTP found that the program was effective in reducing forms of harsh parenting. Other emotional and physical impacts (which varied across the different studies) included improved child health, less reports of physical abuse of children, less injury and improved home safety maintenance, improved parenting self-efficacy and reduced maternal depression. FTP has only been evaluated as an enhancement to the Healthy Start home visitation program and results may differ when it is applied to other programs.

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