The Family Growth Center (FGC)

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescent mothers ages 13-17 years and their infants ages birth-2 years in high-risk neighborhoods

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 2, 13 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 2, 13 – 17

Program Overview

FGC is a community-based family support program designed to reduce repeat pregnancy and school drop-out rates among adolescent mothers. The program aims to provide teen mothers in high-risk neighborhoods with a comprehensive set of educational and support services, offered within family and neighborhood contexts. Young women are recruited for the program by perinatal counselors/coaches when they arrive at participating hospital clinics for prenatal visits. Thereafter, they are offered a range of intervention components, coordinated by case managers at FGC. Program components include home visits, crisis intervention, bimonthly parenting classes, supervised daycare, transportation services, recreational opportunities, and advocacy and referral services.

Program Goals

The goals of The Family Growth Center (FGC) are:

  • Improved access to a comprehensive set of educational and support services within their own high-risk neighborhood
  • Reduced likelihood of repeat pregnancy
  • Reduced likelihood of dropping out of school
  • Improved parenting knowledge and skills
  • Improved health and development of themselves and their children
  • Improved school outcomes and educational achievements such as higher grades and increased involvement in school activities
  • Improved access and/or transportation to needed services for themselves and their children

Essential Components

The essential components of The Family Growth Center (FGC) include:

  • Perinatal coaching:
    • Occurs during the teen mother’s stay in the hospital
    • Helps enhance the new mother’s appreciation of the sensory and interactional abilities of her newborn
    • Collects baseline clinical information for the program’s contracted social workers (Case Managers)
  • Home visits:
    • Occur during the six-month nesting period of the infant’s life
    • Offer general social support, parenting advice, and crisis intervention to the new mother in her own home
  • Center-based services:
    • Occur once the baby reaches six months of age
    • Occur at a designated FGC location (a dwelling centrally located within the targeted high-risk neighborhood)
    • Offer specific activities and services that include:
      • Bimonthly parenting classes
      • Supervised daycare
      • Counseling
      • Transportation
      • Recreation
      • Advocacy and referral services (e.g., information on medical, educational, housing options, etc.)

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

The Family Growth Center (FGC) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Infants at high risk of poor development, disruptive behaviors, poor social interaction behaviors

Parent/Caregiver Services

The Family Growth Center (FGC) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Teen mothers at high risk of negative outcomes including second pregnancy, dropping out of school, and unskilled/abusive/neglectful parenting
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: The FGC program encourages involvement of the nuclear and extended family in supporting the teen mother and infant. Teen mothers’ families (parents, other caregivers, siblings) who live at the same home are also visited by case managers, who provide general social support, advice, introduce families to the array of FGC services, and generally make an effort to establish trust and rapport with the family support network as well as the teen mother and infant. The FGC also offers a variety of Grandmothers’ Support Group sessions for the parents of teen mothers. These are loosely structured discussion sections around general themes such as caregiver stress, grandparents’ roles, and setting boundaries. The FGC also includes a social/recreational component, which is primarily focused on parent/child activities, but involves family and community members as much as possible.

Recommended Intensity:

Weekly case management visits, bimonthly parenting classes, other services as needed/available

Recommended Duration:

6 months of case management, at least 2 years of additional services

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Hospital

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Depending on the services offered, typical resources needed to run the FGC program include computers, overhead projectors, TV/VCR, FGC center location for training workshops, educational seminars, orientation meetings, etc., day care facilities (optional), nutrition services centers (optional), program director, program coordinator, case managers, parent support coordinators, advocate(s), transportation staff, short-term day care assistants/social and recreational activity assistants (optional), child development specialist (optional), and volunteer staff (optional).

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Program Directors: Considerable work experience and Master’s or PhD degrees in education, social work, child development, and/or other relevant field
  • Program Coordinator: Considerable work experience and Master’s or PhD degrees in education, social work, child development, and/or other relevant field
  • Case Managers: Advanced credentials in social work (i.e., Master’s degree in social work [MSW] or licensed clinical social worker [LCSW]) or master’s degree in family and child development. Bilingual reading, writing, and speaking skills may be required by particular programs.
  • Parent Support Coordinators: Master’s in education (M.Ed) or MSW degree is preferred, as is experience working with teens, families, and/or young children. Bilingual reading, writing and speaking skills are highly desirable.
  • Advocate(s): Bachelor’s degree in a related field and/or relevant experience working with teens, families, and/or young children is preferred. Bilingual reading, writing and speaking skills are highly desirable.
  • Transportation staff: Clean driving record at the Department of Motor Vehicles and appropriate state class licenses
  • Short-term day care assistants/social and recreational activity assistants: Experience up to the discretion of each individual program; college students seeking internship opportunities or early childhood education credits are recommended

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is not training available for this program.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for The Family Growth Center (FGC) as listed below:

The facilitator’s manual includes a section on how to assess your community’s needs and assets. This section describes the importance of performing a needs and assets assessment, and briefly details what such an assessment should include and how to perform it. The manual is not publicly available, but is included among the FGC program materials offered at www.socio.com.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of The Family Growth Center (FGC) as listed below:

Sociometrics Corporation provides formal technical support for one year following the purchase of the FGC materials. Technical assistance on program implementation and evaluation is offered optionally via telephone or email.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for The Family Growth Center (FGC) as listed below:

The measures include:

  • Case Manager Home-Visit Notes: A form which records the date of each home visit, the family members present, and additional notes on the visit
  • Monthly Client Summary form for Case Managers: Tracks the number and duration of calls made to the client (teen mother) over the month; the number, date, duration, and purpose of home visits made; school enrollment status; birth control use/appointments; and FGC services utilized. The section on the form regarding FGC services covers parenting classes (date, facilitator, topic), advocacy services (date, initiated by FGC referral or client, service provided), Grandmother Groups attended by client’s grandmother (date, discussion topics), and social/recreational events attended (date, event). No training is required to use the fidelity measures.
  • Advocate Daily Data Log: A form which details advocacy service requests and responses, including the client’s name, date of request, how the client requested advocacy services (in-person, phone, etc.), the nature of the requests, actions taken by advocate, and request status
  • Advocate Monthly Data Log: A form which summarizes all monthly client contacts, plus workshops attended by the advocate

The measures are not publicly available, but are included among the FGC program materials offered at www.socio.com.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for The Family Growth Center (FGC) as listed below:

A facilitator’s manual and staff orientation manual are available. The facilitator’s manual contains background information on the program, offers concrete sessions for establishing an FGC, discusses preliminary assessment of community needs, provides an overview of basic and secondary/optional FGC services, provides guidelines for implementing five key FGC services, and offers general guidelines for staff development and staff organization in the FGC program. The staff orientation manual was developed to provide staff members with a better understanding of the FGC program, including information on the program’s history, principles, focus, services, and resources. It describes staff development, coalition efforts with community agencies/organizations, and funding sources. The manual is not publicly available, but is included among the FGC program materials offered at www.socio.com.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement The Family Growth Center (FGC).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Solomon, R., & Liefeld, C. P. (1998). Effectiveness of a family support center approach to adolescent mothers: Repeat pregnancy and school drop-out rates. Family Relations, 47, 139-144. doi:10.2307/585617 

Type of Study: Nonequivalent control group design
Number of Participants: 63

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — 100% Female
  • Status — Participants were pregnant and parenting teens.

Location/Institution: Pittsburgh, PA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Family Growth Center. Adolescents were assigned to the intervention or control group based on zip code of residence; subjects who dropped out in the first 12 months were moved to the attrition group. Measures utilized include the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL), and the Family Apgar. Results indicated that adolescents in the Family Growth Center group were significantly less likely than those in the control group to have a repeat pregnancy or drop out of school. Limitations include nonrandomization of subjects, high attrition rate, and lack of intent to treat analyses.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for The Family Growth Center (FGC).

Contact Information

Agency/Affiliation: Sociometrics Corporation
Website: www.socio.com/products/pasha-family-growth-center-a-community-based-social-support-program-for-teen-mothers-and-their-families
Email:
Phone: (650) 949-3282
Fax: (650) 949-3299

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: January 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2013