A program proven to help couples maintain strong family bonds, reduce stress and raise healthy, well-adjusted children.

Family Foundations was developed  by Mark Feinberg, Ph.D. who was trained as a clinical psychologist and family therapist, and is currently a prevention scientist at Penn State University. Many colleagues, professionals and families also contributed to the development and testing of Family Foundations. Childbirth educators Charley Newell and Sherry Turchetta assisted with the early development of the program, many families provided feedback and suggestions, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided funding for research that has documented the program’s benefits.

Dr. Feinberg’s core idea was to focus a new birth preparation class series on the key foundation of the family–the cooperative and supportive relationship between parents. This idea came from his own experience as a father, as well as from the stories he heard from other dads in father discussion groups he held in local schools.  He was originally interested in supporting father’s being more involved in parenting. But practical experience and the research literature led him to realize that the lack of a cooperative team approach to parenting was the key obstacle preventing many dads from being more involved. When he began helping couples build a foundation of positive parenting teamwork, he found that everyone in the family–fathers, mothers, and children–benefited in deep and lasting ways.

Our Core Values

We developed Family Foundations to help create a world where all parents have the tools they need to create strong, cooperative, and lasting parenting partnerships. Building positive parenting teams can help make sure that all kids get the loving support they need from their parents.  

The core values that guide our work are…

Family Foundations develops educational and support materials for families with a commitment to making sure they work. This is what sets our program apart from other products and services for new families: we are committed to an evidence-based approach.

We rely on research studies to indicate whether or not our programs are actually beneficial. Just as we all want to know the medicines doctors are prescribing for us have been tested and found safe and effective, the effectiveness of educational and health-promoting programs should be supported by rigorous research.

Some programs that have been widely distributed were actually later found to be harmful to children or families. Because we have conducted research on Family Foundations before offering it to the public, and our results have been published in high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific journals, you can be confident that the program yields the benefits we describe.

Our philosophy in developing materials is that you are the expert on what works best for you and your family. We provide enough flexibility within the materials and exercises so that you can bring your wisdom and values to the experience and develop a path that works for your family. We provide tools and information based on research with families and children, but it is up to you to adapt these tools for your own family’s needs and values.

If you have questions about the program, contact us:

[email protected]

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