Nurturing Coordinator: Joyce Parton
Program: The evidence-based Nurturing Program is a family-based program for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The Nurturing Program was developed to help families who have been identified by child welfare agencies for past child abuse and neglect or who are at high risk for child abuse and neglect. Nurturing classes are provided primarily for court-mandated and DFCS-mandated parents who are working case plans to regain or keep custody of their children. Approximately 2% of the participants are self-referred and are taking the class to improve their parenting skills.
Participants develop their awareness, knowledge, and skills in five areas: age-appropriate expectations; empathy, bonding, and attachment; nonviolent nurturing discipline; self-awareness and self-worth; and empowerment, autonomy, and healthy independence. Nurturing parenting is based on the philosophy that parenting is learned: the way caregivers were raised directly influences the way they raise their children. The program helps caregivers learn nurturing behaviors in place of others that are hurtful to children. A basic principle of the nurturing philosophy is that most caregivers would rather build happy, healthy interactions in their families rather than struggle with problems they were never taught to solve.
Funding: This program receives funding from Promoting Safe and Stable Families, United Way of Northwest Georgia and private donations.