Bring Family Foundations to your State, County, or Community

FF helps good parents become great parents.

FF is the only program designed for a wide range of expectant and new parents that has been shown in multiple research trials to promote positive family relationships and the health and well-being of parents and children from birth throughout childhood.  FF improves more parent, child, and family relationship outcomes, for a longer period, for more families, than any other program available.

Why offer FF?

Here’s what you’ll need:

Curriculum manual for each facilitator
Parent workbooks
Program manager materials (monitor fidelity and assess outcomes)
Training for facilitators

High quality program materials. The program materials are designed to be easy to use and engaging.  Facilitators comment on the easy-to-follow layout and clear guidelines that make delivery of the program straight-forward.

Flexibility and options.  The original standard FF program was designed as a class series delivered in-person to a group of expectant couples. FF has also been successfully delivered to small groups via zoom, and versions can be delivered through high schools, in home visits, or via a range of community partners.

Training. Training of facilitators is highly recommended. Hundreds of previous trainees have given the training high ratings for quality and support. After training, certification as a Family Foundations facilitator can be obtained through a video-review process.  Ongoing consultation and coaching is available.

Pay for or provide discounts for expectant parents in your community, health system, or workplace to enroll in the program

You have options!

Highly effective. Family Foundations improves more parent, child, and family relationship outcomes than any other program available.

The benefits are durable. Benefits for parents and children have been shown to extend at least at least ten years after birth.

Families love it. Parents give FF high ratings for helpfulness. Parents also demonstrate the value they find in the program through extremely high attendance rates (e.g., 85% attendance across 9 classes in a recent study).

FF meets the needs of all families. The original FF program has been designed to serve a wide range of families, not just selected target groups or the highest-risk parents. Other versions of FF are available, and have been tested, for specific high-risk groups.

Benefits are documented in rigorous research. Unlike most programs, FF has been rigorously evaluated in a series of NIH-funded research studies over 20 years. These studies have utilized randomized trials, adhering to the same high standards as studies testing prescription drugs or medical devices.  The program outcomes have been published in leading peer-review journals. Independent research, government, and non-profit organizations have given FF high marks for research integrity, effectiveness, and ease of delivery

High quality program materials. The program materials are designed to be easy to use and engaging.  Facilitators comment on the easy-to-follow layout and clear guidelines that make delivery of the program straight-forward.

Flexibility and options.  The original standard FF program was designed as a class series delivered in-person to a group of expectant couples. FF has also been successfully delivered to small groups via zoom, and versions can be delivered through high schools, in home visits, or via a range of community partners.

Training. Training of facilitators is highly recommended. Hundreds of previous trainees have given the training high ratings for quality and support. After training, certification as a Family Foundations facilitator can be obtained through a video-review process.  Ongoing consultation and coaching is available.

Versions of FF are available for teens, low-income couples (whether living together or not), and couples with a young child just diagnosed with Autism.

Maternal & Child Health Outcomes

  • Improve birth outcomes, reduce preterm birth & post-birth hospital stay
  • Reduce maternal postpartum weight retention
  • Lower parental stress and anxiety
  • Decrease postpartum depression
  • Enhance infant self-soothing and sleep

Child & Family Outcomes

  • Increase children’s social-emotional well-being
  • Reduce parent & child mental health problems
  • Boost parenting warmth, sensitivity
  • Reduce family conflict and violence
  • Increase children’s engagement in school

Systems Outcomes

  • Reduce health and mental health costs
  • Reduce workplace absenteeism, turnover

Versions for Every Family

An adaption of FF for pregnant and parenting adolescents delivered as a weekly in high school.

A parent peer-mentoring version of FF for parents of a young child just diagnosed with Autism. Includes orientation and support around accessing and advocating for Autism services.

FF for couples where an expectant/new parent is a moderate to heavy alcohol drinker. The adaptation of the group-format program is accompanied by several individual couple SBIRT sessions.

Consisting of 4 classes before birth and 4 classes after birth. Ideally conducted by male/female co-leader team.

An online, interactive self-study version of the program that couples can complete at home.

A home-visiting version for expectant/new parents living in poverty, regardless of marital or residential status.

Contact Form for Professionals

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FAQs for Professionals

Is Family Foundations a fatherhood program, a couple program, or a parenting preparation and education program?

FF is unique in that it is all of these. At the transition to parenthood, fathers at every level of income are typically involved, excited, and interested in their new baby.  However, strains and conflict that develop between new mothers and fathers can get in the way of cooperative and supportive team parenting.  Research shows that when mothers and fathers are in conflict and do not have a strong parenting team–whether the parents are married, cohabiting, not living together, or no longer romantically involved– fathers tend to become less involved with the child over time. This increases mothers’ parenting burden, role overload, stress and sometimes depression. The end result can be a difficult, negative, or stressful home environment for the child. By focusing on building strong and cooperative parenting teamwork, FF leads to greater father involvement over the long-term, better mother and father mental health, enhanced parenting quality, reduced family violence, and a broad range of positive and long-term child outcomes.

Why is the strength of the parenting team such an important factor in families?

Research shows that partner support is the most important influence on parents’ well-being, including postpartum depression.  Although other close family members and friends can step in and help with the birth of a new baby, in general, the other support of the other parent cannot be fully replaced.  Without the emotional and practical support of the baby’s other parent, a parent can feel over-burdened and isolated. Over time, a parent’s resentment may increase, leading to further couple conflict, as well as increasing stress and depression. Parents in conflictual and unsupportive relationships tend to have difficulty remaining patient and warm with their child and managing the daily hassles of family life–resulting in harsher and more punitive parenting.

eFF

What is it?

Coming Soon

What is [email protected]?

[email protected] is a manualized curriculum of 11 home visits for the mother and father together, flexibly delivered before/after or only after birth. [email protected] provides key information, support, and critical skills-building training for parents to foster stronger and more cooperative team parenting.

How is this different from other home visit programs?

[email protected] is an additional component that can be delivered for mother-father dyads alongside traditional home visiting. In contrast to other home visiting programs, the focus is on the parenting team. There is minimal content overlap with other home visiting programs.

Why does [email protected] focus on building strong parenting teams rather than teaching positive parenting?

When parents are more supportive of each other and engage in less hostile conflict, research shows they experience reduced parent stress and depression. As a result, parents are calmer and happier and naturally show more patience, warmth, and engagement with their child–without specific “parenting training”. Children in FF families feel safer and are more comfortable with exploring and learning new things—resulting in healthier development and long-term well-being.
[email protected] was adapted from the original group-format FF program by experts in home visiting, coparenting, and preventive intervention service design. Research was led by Dr. Robert Ammerman, adaptation led by Dr. Kari-Lyn Sukuma.

Strong Foundations

What is it?

Coming Soon

What is Autism Parent Navigators (APN)

Autism Parent Navigators is a brief, six-session program for individual families with a young child newly diagnosed with Autism led by an experienced parent mentor. The program helps parents transition into strong advocates for and engaged partners in their child’s long-term services and treatments. APN achieves this goal in a manner unlike any existing program: APN helps parents strengthen key parenting team support, communication and problem-solving skills at the same time as parents discuss their own adjustment to the ASD diagnosis, parenting strategies, and critical ASD-related decisions.

In other words, APN was developed to support parents’ adjustment to an ASD diagnosis by focusing on the recommendations of ASD experts to help parents (1) accept the diagnosis through support of another experienced, ASD parent mentor; (2) gain experience and guidance in managing the new world of ASD health care, educational, and treatment resources; and (3) build a cooperative, supportive parenting team approach to raising a child with ASD

Why do parents of a young child with Autism need Parent Navigators?

The diagnosis of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) poses unique stressors and demands on parents, leading to a higher risk of depression and anxiety disorders compared to parents of children with other conditions (e.g., Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes) or no disability.  Parent stress, depression, and conflict reduce parents’ ability to adhere to the very treatments that have the best chance of reducing children’s lifelong ASD symptoms and health care needs, leading to lower effectiveness of early intervention on children’s behavioral and academic outcomes.  In sum, parents’ stress, depression, and anxiety around a child’s ASD diagnosis may have a negative impact on the future well-being of the child, contribute to worsening child behavior problems over time, and in a vicious cycle leading to further increased parental stress.

Yes, but there are already too many services and treatments to manage! Why create another?

Research demonstrates that parents’ early adjustment to the ASD diagnosis is critical: parents’ difficulty with acceptance, self-blame, and despair around the time of the child’s diagnosis predicts parents’ future stress, anxiety and depression.  APN was designed to be a brief, six-session program to help parents transition into a strong parenting team to help: (1) Enhance consistency in the home environment, routines, and parenting practices—which is especially valuable for children with ASD.  (2) Enhance family adherence to behavioral and medical ASD treatments, and thus lower levels of ASD symptom severity and children’s lifelong adjustment.

Healthy Foundations

What is it?

Coming Soon