Engaging Parents in Preventive Interventions for Young Children: Working with Cultural Diversity Within Low-Income, Urban Neighborhoods
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A robust literature documents the impact of poverty on child development and lifelong health, well-being and productivity. Racial and ethnic minority children continue to bear the burden of poverty disproportionately. Evidence-based parenting interventions in early childhood have the potential to attenuate risk attributable to poverty and stress. To reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in the USA, parenting interventions must be accessible, engaging, and effective for low-income families of color living in large urban centers. This paper describes the initial development of ParentCorps and ongoing improvements to realize that vision. Initial development focused on creating a parenting intervention that places culture at the center and effectively embedding it in schools. ParentCorps includes core components found in nearly all effective parenting interventions with a culturally informed approach to engaging families and supporting behavior change. As the intervention is implemented at scale in increasingly diverse communities, improvement efforts include augmenting professional development to increase racial consciousness among all staff (evaluators, coaches, and school-based facilitators) and applying an implementation science framework to study and more fully support schools’ use of a package of engagement strategies.
KeywordsPrevention Early childhood Parent engagement Poverty Racial/ethnic minority Cultural diversity
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