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Parents Anonymous


Teresa Rafael, M.S.W., Vice Pres. of Programs
Contact: Kathy DuVernet
Parents Anonymous, Inc.

675 W. Foothill Blvd, Suite 220
Claremont, CA 91711-3475
(909) 621-6184             Fax: (206) 526-0220

Comprehensive Speciality
0-18 years Target
Promising Rating

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 Parents Anonymous? 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 pf 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 Parents Anonymous? groups are co-led by a parent group leader and a professionally trained 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.

All organizations planning to develop Parents Anonymous? programs must contact and work directly with Parents Anonymous, Inc. to become accredited and trained in the Parents Anonymous? model.


Implementation Costs:

The cost of replicating the Parents Anonymous? group model ranges from $2000 per group per year, with donated space, volunteer staff and significant in-kind community support, to $10,000 per year, with paid staff and ancillary costs. The use of volunteers and donated space significantly impact the cost. Also, economies of scale mean that those organizations with more than one Parents Anonymous? group can spread costs of outreach, training and telephone support so the cost per group is reduced.

Training Costs:

Published training manuals, technical assistance bulletins and parent handbooks are distributed at no charge to the Parents Anonymous? National Network through Parents Anonymous, Inc. Additional training is usually provided free of charge to local Parents Anonymous? programs. National and regional training workshops are always organized to keep costs as low as possible. A minimal accreditation fee is assessed each year which partially supports the costs of the accreditation process and program materials.


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Dept. of Health Promotion and Education