What if there were principles that made mothers and everyone serving them wiser?
Since the mid 1990’s social service personnel, teachers, nurses and others who work with families have had the opportunity to get trained at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center. They get the benefit of the extremely popular T.Berry Brazelton research on child development and parenting, but also a lot more. Recognizing that even his phenomenally successful books on the subject would reach only some parents, Dr. Brazelton created the Touchpoints Center specifically to adapt and share his findings in ways that empowers service providers.
The training is as much about how to interact constructively with parents in a variety of situations as it is about what the child needs at each point. The idea is to make millions of women, especially low-income women, wiser parents by enabling family service professionals do what they do, but with greater effectiveness and less stress.
Here is a very interesting article from Harvard Magazine that describes the program through examples of how various organizations are applying the training.
The Facts: What The Center Offers
Use these links to find out more about the Touchpoint Center:
2. Organizational Consulting and Support
3. Resources for social service providers, for parents.
4. Ongoing contributions to Head Start through work on a parent, family and community engagement initiative.
Entities that implemented what they learned reported the following benefits:
- Parents feel more valued. The interaction approach taught puts a premium on listening to parents and coaching them rather than telling or judging them.
- Improved provider relationships with each other
- Service-provider specific results such as:
- Fewer visits to the emergency room; increased well-child care treatment adherence
- Improved maternal mental health indicators
- Enhanced parent-infant relationships
- Improved parent-provider relationships
- Normalized parent’s perceptions of their child’s behavior
A Lot of Promise
This program has a lot of attractive traits that align with the vision of building Poor Mom Wisdom: The focus on supportive intervention, the base of strong multi-cultural research, the focus on enabling the people on the front lines instead of creating new entities.