Exchange Parent Aide

About This Program

Target Population: Families must have at least one child age birth through 17 years in the home (services may also be offered prenatally), be considered at-risk for abuse (either through presence of dynamics common in abusive families or the presence of substantiated abuse or neglect), and be willing to participate in services

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

Exchange Parent Aide program consists of trained, professionally supervised individuals (volunteer or paid) who provide supportive and educational in-home services to families at risk of child abuse and neglect. Agencies elect to use paid and/or volunteer Parent Aides to provide services based on their community needs and resources. Services are strength-based and family-centered. Auxiliary services enhance service delivery (e.g., group-based parenting classes). Model components include:

  • An Initial Needs Assessment (INA) describing family dynamics, patterns of coping, abuse histories, and immediate needs
  • A family treatment plan focusing on the program's four goal areas:
    • Child safety
    • Problem solving skills
    • Parenting skills
    • Social support
  • Matching families with a professionally trained and supervised Parent Aide who provides weekly home visits.

Programs select parenting curricula based on the needs of the families with a priority on using curricula with an evidence-base, when available. An extensive accreditation process is required of Exchange Parent Aide programs.

Program Goals

The goals of Exchange Parent Aide are:

  • Assure child safety
  • Improve parenting skills
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Enhance social supports

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Exchange Parent Aide.

Essential Components

The essential elements of Exchange Parent Aide include:

  • The relationship between the family and the Parent Aide
  • The formation of model was highly influenced by the theory of personality development formulated by Erik Erikson.
  • Parent Aides receive training not to "analyze" parents and families or conjecture what stage they might have missed in life, but to increase awareness of how past life experiences impact decisions and behaviors today and to increase ability to communicate in ways that parents and children can understand.
    • Caseload sizes are limited.
    • Services are voluntary.
    • Provides secondary and tertiary prevention services to families at risk of or having experienced child abuse and neglect.
  • Initiation of Services:
    • Referral sources are selected by individual programs based on needs of community. Self-referrals are accepted.
    • Families may enter the program at any time prenatally or with a child from birth through age 12.
    • All families participate in an Initial Needs Assessment.
    • Families are matched with a Parent Aide.
    • A Family Plan, to guide services, is developed with all families.
  • On-going Services:
    • Initially, families receive in-home services once or twice a week, depending on needs.
    • Weekly visits continue for up to several months. Frequency may be reduced when success in meeting program goals is demonstrated.
    • Services continue long-term, recommended for nine to twelve months.
    • Services are provided with sensitivity to cultural differences.
    • Supervision occurs at a minimum of one hour per week.
    • Case decisions are discussed with supervisors or treatment team.
    • Cases are reviewed at least quarterly by supervisors or case work teams.
    • Case closures are discussed with supervisor or case work teams.
    • Deficiencies in quality, timeliness, or service are documented and improvement plans are developed.
    • Professional staff is available 24 hours per day to the family to respond to crises.
  • All programs complete an extensive accreditation process.
  • All of the staff attends a mandatory initial training with on-going training requirements.
  • All Exchange Parent Aide programs are supported by the National Exchange Club. This allows national staff to provide many services to programs free or at minimal cost. These services include:
    • An annual national training symposium
    • Initial Exchange Parent Aide training
    • Accreditation
    • Consultation
    • Research and data collection systems
    • Resource materials for use with families

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Exchange Parent Aide directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Any development or behavioral issues

Parent/Caregiver Services

Exchange Parent Aide directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Children's development or behavioral issues
  • Parenting behaviors leading to child abuse or neglect
  • Family issues creating stress for parents/caregivers
  • Environmental issues creating stress for parents/caregivers
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: The program attempts to work with all family members/people living in the family home, and continuously works to connect the family to outside support systems.

Recommended Intensity:

The program standard is 1 to 2 home visits per week, with each lasting 1 to 2 hours. Telephone contact occurs between home visits. Parents have telephone access to professional staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recommended Duration:

Recommended duration is 9-12 months with the average being 11 months.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home


This program does not include a homework component.


Exchange Parent Aide has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Master's level Director/Supervisor staff, trained Parent Aides, ability for staff to attend initial/on-going training/training space, cell phone, Parent Aides need personal transportation, computer, ability to document in files and store files securely, 1 full-time Supervisor per 5-6 full-time Parent Aides, and travel expense reimbursement (mileage) for home visitors

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Director/Administrator - Master's level, Program manager/supervisor - Bachelor's in human service field, Parent Aides - college level or para-professional

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

National Headquarters in Toledo/Regional/On-site

Number of days/hours:

Two days/15 hours

Additional Resources:

There currently are additional qualified resources for training:

Training occurs locally at program sites through monthly in-service trainings, weekly supervision, and with Parent Aides having 24/7 access to supervisors. Local training also occurs through local conferences, universities and various other institutions. A free national training symposium is offered annually to all programs. The master's level national staff is available to provide training, on-site or via the internet and also provide free case/program consultation.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

The program representative did not provide information about pre-implementation materials.

Formal Support for Implementation

The program representative did not provide information about formal support for implementation of Exchange Parent Aide.

Fidelity Measures

The program representative did not provide information about fidelity measures of Exchange Parent Aide.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

The program representative did not provide information about implementation guides or manuals for Exchange Parent Aide.

Research on How to Implement the Program

The program representative did not provide information about research conducted on how to implement Exchange Parent Aide.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Safety

Harder, J. (2005). Prevention of child abuse and neglect: An evaluation of a home visitation parent aide program using recidivism data. Research on Social Work Practice, 15(4), 246–256.

Type of Study: Other quasi-experimental
Number of Participants: 246


  • Age — Approximately 26.8 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 45% African American, 35% White, and 18% Hispanic
  • Gender — 96% Female
  • Status — Participants were adults that have been referred to CPS due to child abuse and neglect.

Location/Institution: Dallas, TX

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the prevention of child abuse and neglect through an evaluation of the Parent Aide Program [now called Exchange Parent Aide]. Participants were all families referred to the Parent Aide Program from Child Protective Services (CPS) at the Child Abuse Prevention Center in Dallas, Texas, from 1993 through 1999. Measures utilized include the number of substantiated reports to CPS of child abuse or neglect made subsequent to a parent’s case closure from the Parent Aide Program. This information was gathered from IMPACT, the CPS statewide, centralized database of abuse and neglect for Texas. Results indicate that a home visitation program such as the Parent Aide Program can affect recidivism rates for those families who complete the program. Limitations include the quasi-experimental design cannot determine with complete confidence that it was the Parent Aide Program alone or in part that produced group differences, some ambiguity exists in using the CPS database (IMPACT) to determine reoccurrence of abuse or neglect and, the use of data gathered retrospectively from client files.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 3 months.

Guterman, N. B., Tabone, J. K., Bryan, G. M., Taylor, C. A., Napoleon-Hanger, C., & Banman, A. (2013). Examining the effectiveness of home-based parent aide services to reduce risk for physical child abuse and neglect: Six-month findings from a randomized clinical trial. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(8), 566–577.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 138


  • Age — 18–29 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 62% White, 31% Black, and 7% Other
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were impoverished youth and families from a multicultural urban neighborhood recruited from six parent aide program sites of the National Exchange Club Foundation (NECF).

Location/Institution: Southeast region of the United States

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the benefits of home-based paraprofessional parent aide services in reducing physical abuse and neglect risk in high-risk parents. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either parent aide plus case management services [now called Exchange Parent Aide] or case management services only. Measures utilized include the Maternal physical child abuse proxies, the Parent–Child Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS-PC), the Child Well-Being Scales (CWBS), the Mother–Child Neglect Scale (MCNS), Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Drug Use Screening Inventory (DUSI), the Pearlin-Schooler Mastery (PSM) scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the number of substantiated reports to child protective services of child abuse or neglect made subsequent to a parent’s case closure from the Exchange Parent Aide program was gathered from IMPACT, the child protective services statewide, centralized database of abuse and neglect for Texas. Results indicate that mothers receiving Exchange Parent Aide in addition to case management services reported significant improvements from baseline to six-month follow-up in self-reported indicators of physical child abuse risk, as well as improvements on parental stress, mastery, depression, and anxiety, whereas mothers receiving only case management services did not. The slopes of such observed changes across groups, however, were not found to be statistically significantly different. No discernible improvements were found with regard to indicators of risk for child neglect. Limitations include small sample size and lack of follow-up.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Exchange Parent Aide.

Contact Information

Genevieve Stults, LSW, BSSW, MOD
Agency/Affiliation: National Exchange Club
Phone: (800) 924-2643

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2024

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2013