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The NICASA Parent Project


Wendy Gwaltney, Parent Project Coordinator
Northern Illinois Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (NICASA)
31979 N. Fish Lake Road
Round Lake, IL 60073

(847) 546-6450 ext. 232       Fax: (847) 546-6760

Parent Training Speciality
0-18 years Target
Model Rating

The NICASA Parent Project was designed specifically to meet the needs of parents in the workplace and community to address issues in effective prevention. The goals of the program are to enrich family relationships and promote healthy environments that build resistance to social and personal dysfunction. Specifically, it focuses on the need to establish supportive networks among parents; improve parent/child relationships; increase ability to balance work and family life; improve corporate climate for workers; and improve parent skills in preventing and identifying substance abuse problems in themselves and their children.

The NICASA Parent Project includes programs for parents with children of the following ages: birth to three, three to five, five to ten, and eleven to seventeen. The program has also been modified and piloted at three work sites to address specific issues related to single working parents. The program is presented at lunch time at a worksite. At each developmental level, the program addresses issues common to all parents such as balancing work and family, communication, discipline, learning styles, sibling relationships, sex role conditioning, substance abuse and others. The program also focuses on specific developmental stage issues such as child care, tantrums, sleeping and eating patterns, communicating with school personnel, peer pressure and establishing family substance use policies for elementary school children, school performance, male/female relationships and increasing levels of responsibility for adolescents.

In a longitudinal study of 191 parents using a quasi-experimental design, parents in a high dosage group showed significant and enduring changes in child behaviors, rated child behavior more positively, parenting practices and knowledge changed significantly in desired direction and parental punitiveness and irritability declined. Also, parental stress and depression were reduced and there were positive increases in substance abuse knowledge and negative attitudes toward drugs for parents who received high dosage levels of the program.


Implementation Costs:

Ongoing program costs include facilitators salaries and benefits, including coordination, fees for guest speakers, copying costs for parent's handouts and binders to hold them, travel, and supplies. Costs will vary based on program length, number of participants, and the distance between the agency and the program site.

Usually, for each program, one facilitator is sufficient. The facilitator must be trained by NICASA to implement the program. The facilitator must have experience in facilitating groups, and an understanding of child development. The NICASA Parent Project Manual contains lesson plans, handouts transparencies, and information about how to implement the program. The manuals are part of the training that each facilitator receives before starting the program, and are one of the training costs.

Training Costs:

The length of the training is two days with a maximum of 20 participants. One or two trainer may be required but it is better with two trainers. The fees for trainings, manuals and other materials can be discussed with the Parent project Coordinator. Follow-up training or Program Consultation is not required but can be arranged as needed.


Revised 11/10/2002

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