Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Model Target * 0-18 Speciality * Comprehensive
Program * Parents Anonymous
Description *

  Dedicated to strengthening families through mutual support, Parents anonymous, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest child abuse prevention, education and treatment program. Meeting weekly with other parents and a trained facilitator, parents learn to use appropriate resources and to build supportive, positive peer relationships for themselves and their children. Parents Anonymous welcomes any parent or adult in a parenting role who feels stress and concern about their parenting ability and seeks support, information and training. Complementary children's programs are offered concurrently with the parent groups.

The Parents Anonymous group model is based on the belief that parents are the most effective agents of their own change and the model builds on the strengths of parents who attend. Parents Anonymous principles of shared leadership, mutual support and personal responsibility have contributed to the success of the program. In addition, the model incorporates the theories of adult learning styles, group dynamics and psychological development. Weekly two-hour groups are co-led by a parent group leader and a volunteer facilitator. Parents determine the agenda at the beginning of each meeting. The topics covered are pertinent and of immediate value to those in attendance. Basic parenting skills such as communication and discipline are discussed at every meeting. Group members offer 24 hour support to parents when they experience stress or crises. Children's program activities help children gain skills in conflict resolution, appropriate peer interactions, identifying and communicating thoughts and emotions, and increasing self-esteem.

Parents Anonymous has been independently evaluated and when compared to 11 other programs has been found to be most successful in parent satisfaction, child welfare outcome and cost effectiveness. Another study found an almost immediate decrease in reported frequency of physical abuse. Parents developed feelings of competence in their parenting role and ability to deal with stress. Length of time in the program was significantly correlated to increased self esteem, reduced social isolation and increased members' knowledge about children's behavior and development.

    Contact * Teresa Rafael, M.S.W., Vice President of Programs 
    Address* Parents Anonymous, Inc.
675 W. Foothill Blvd, Suite 220 
        Claremont, CA  91711-3475
    Phone * 909 621-6184
    Email  * 
    Website  * 
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention