According to the Federal Title IV-E Prevention Clearinghouse, Parents Anonymous® is the ONLY culturally responsive program in the NATION that is proven to Effectively Improve Parenting, Enhance Mental Health and Reduce Substance Abuse while Ensuring Child Safety for diverse families with children and youth of all ages.

Federal Clearinghouse Highlights Parents Anonymous® 

In the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, Supported Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® positively impacts Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Parenting. Parents Anonymous® is effective in addressing child safety and the prevention of child abuse and neglect and is eligible for matching federal funds in every state Family First plan. Furthermore, Parents Anonymous®  has the capacity to implement, ensure model fidelity, and collect vital evaluation data for any Family First Prevention Services Act jurisdiction. 

Research demonstrates Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® to reduce subsequent child maltreatment substantiations by more than half as compared to parents who did not use the program. Even a year after leaving the program, Parents Anonymous® is a proven intervention to keep children out of the child welfare system and ensure child safety by addressing mental health, substance use prevention or treatment, and in-home parenting skills.

For further information on Parents Anonymous® implementation for Family First Prevention & Services Act, complete this form. 

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    California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse

    Parents Anonymous® Group (Rating 3, Relevance to Child Welfare) in The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. This premier Clearinghouse with scientific review and clinical relevance lists evidence-based programs based on published, peer-reviewed research ensuring that the best interventions are available and utilized highlights Parents Anonymous® in 5 Program Areas with the Highest Relevance to Child Welfare: 1. Parent Partner Programs for Families, 2. Parent Training Programs, 3. Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Primary) Programs, 4. Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs and 5. Interventions for Abusive Behavior.

    Study Reveals Impact on Child Safety and Permanency

    “The Impact of Parents Anonymous® on Child Safety and Permanency”, Children and Youth Services Review, May 2021. Cynthia Burnson, Sarah Covington, Bertha Arvizo, Jun Qiao, Evident Change and Elizabeth Harris, Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. The study found that parents who participated in Parents Anonymous® were significantly less likely to experience new referrals and new substantiated referrals to the child welfare system within a year of finishing the program than parents who did not participate in the program. The odds of a parent who finished the program experiencing a new substantiated referral were one third as high as those of parents who did not attend the program. While Parents Anonymous® serves a wide variety of parents, most participating parents from those two California counties are at high risk of repeated system involvement and have considerable histories in the child welfare system. Taken in context, the study findings indicate that the program could help reduce the likelihood of system involvement even for this high-risk group. This study adds to previous studies over the past 51 years showing Parents Anonymous® leads to better outcomes for families.

    Interventions Relevant to Children and Families Being Served with Family First Funding that Have Been Shown to be Effective with Families of Color: Research Brief Executive SummaryCasey Family Programs, 2021. Parents Anonymous® is highlighted for effectiveness with children and families of color along with other programs rated Promising, Supported, or Well-supported by the FFPSA Prevention Clearinghouse. Parents Anonymous® is 1 out of 13 Supported and Well Supported programs shown to be effective with children and families of color. 

    Study Demonstrates Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Treatment

    “Effectively Preventing and Treating Child Abuse and Neglect by Strengthening Families: Evaluation Brief 2016-2019,” October 2019. Dr. Andrew Ainsworth, Center for Assessment, Research & Evaluation, California State University Northridge. Utilizing a pre-test/post-test with non-equivalent groups design, demonstrate that Parents Anonymous® successfully prevents and treats child abuse and neglect by strengthening families by increasing protective factors, family functioning, and child and parent well-being including increased mental health and reduced substance use and domestic violence addressing child safety, permanence and well-being and adult well-being for (1) Mental Health Prevention and Treatment, (2) Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program or Services, (3) In-Home Parenting Skill-Based Program or Services (Occur Where the Parent Lives), and (4) Kinship Navigator Services.

    Parent Partner Research

    “Development and Validation of a Wraparound Parent Partner Fidelity Tool,” Social Work Research. June 4, 2013. Polinsky et. al. This groundbreaking research is the only research of its kind to ensure the role of the Wraparound Parent Partner in thousands of programs nationwide to strengthen families with children with mental health diagnoses.

    National Prevention Evaluation

    “Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A National Evaluation of Parents Anonymous® Groups,” Child Welfare, Vol. 89, No. 6, 43-62 (2010), Polinsky et. al. and the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, Final Report to Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Outcome Evaluation of Parents Anonymous®”, July 30, 2007, National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The National Outcome Study demonstrating the evidence of prevention of child abuse and neglect results for Parents who participate in Parents Anonymous® weekly support groups nationwide measuring significant decreases in risk factors (parental stress, life stress, domestic violence, and alcohol/drug usage); increases in protective factors (quality of life, social support, parenting sense of competence, nonviolent discipline, and family functioning) and for those parents with issues, significant reduction in parental distress, rigidity, and psychological and physical aggression towards children.

    Preventing Delinquency Research

    “Parents Anonymous® Outcome Evaluation: Promising Findings for Child Maltreatment Reduction.” Journal of Juvenile Justice, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 33-47. (2011), Polinsky et. al. The results of the National study conducted by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency measured the positive effects of continued involvement in a Parents Anonymous® group for a diverse population nationwide. An expanded qualitative study of Latino mothers and fathers validated all quantitative results and added depth key aspects of the intervention including self-ethos, empowerment, and positive impacts on educational goals, economic stability and marital harmony.

    Parent Partner Research

    Partnering With Parents: Promising Approaches to Improve Reunification Outcomes for Children in Foster Care (2009). This evaluation research was conducted by Elizabeth K. Anthony, Jill Duerr Berrick, Ed Cohen and Elizabeth Wilder at the Center for Social Services Research, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, on the Contra Costa Parent Partner Program demonstrated some promise to shorten time in care for child welfare involved families based on the evidence of peer-to-peer support such as Parents Anonymous® Executive Summary and Final Report.

    Shared Leadership® Research

    Pathways to Shared Leadership® (2005). Shared Leadership® in Action Program Explores focuses on improved parent leadership and practice strategies, increased program effectiveness and meaningful systems change. There are seven components of Shared Leadership® in Action:  

    1. Assessment & Planning 
    2. Development and maintenance of organizational shared leadership® structures 
    3. Shared Leadership® in Action Training  
    4. On-going coaching and technical assistance 
    5. Supports for Parent Leaders and Staff 
    6. On-going recruitment 
    7. Evaluation 

    Research results from Shared Leadership® in Action demonstrate increased knowledge, skills and abilities and new opportunities, organizational culture change and improved services for families. 

    Parent Leadership Research

    Research on Parent Leadership: Significance and Findings, (2001). Ethnographic research results provide the conceptual framework for Parent Leadership. Culturally diverse Parent Leaders shape the process model of leadership development. Based on the Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Potential Inventory, this report measured five leadership practices and actual behaviors through a new validated instrument: Leadership Practice & Behavior Inventory (2001) with hundreds of parent leaders and staff working with numerous service sectors working with families: child welfare, education, mental health and prevention.