Positive Parenting Resource
About This Program
Target Population: Families headed by parents with intellectual and/or functional limitations
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17
Positive Parenting Resource operated by The United Arc provides services to parents with intellectual and/or functional limitations. The Positive Parenting Resource Center is built upon the concept of providing programs through a multi-tier level of support. Their mission statement is:
The Positive Parenting Resource Center will educate and build upon the strengths of families with learning differences to enhance their parenting skills and become recognized as valued, contributing members of their community. This is addressed by providing comprehensive and individualized services to the families. The center also educates the human service community and the community at large and promotes a change in the current service system to recognize the potential for growth and increased parental capacity.
Positive Parenting Resource offers a variety of services including home visiting with parenting skills training; both supervised visitation observation/monitoring and supportive/instructional supervised visitation; parent education and support groups; mentoring support; and a transitional supported living program. Through the programs, the center addresses how the combination of disability, poverty, and isolation often leads to struggles with maintaining housing security or household stability and makes the challenges of parenting becoming more complicated. Issues addressed are parenting skills, budgeting, community referrals, and personal well-being and safety.
The goals of Positive Parenting Resource are:
- Increase positive parent-child interaction
- Decrease negative child behaviors
- Improve parent-child relationship and family unit functioning
- Enhance parental understanding of child development and age-appropriate child expectations
- Increase parental knowledge and access of formal and community resources
- Strengthen parental networks through connections to other parents and supportive mentors
- Ensure that parents successfully complete tasks in their Child Protection Service plans
- Enhance family stability
- Decrease or eliminate allegations of child abuse or neglect with program connected parents
- Maintain parent and child wellness
The essential components of Positive Parenting Resource include:
- Home Visiting and Parenting Skills Training: Individualized parent education and support is provided within the home along with case management and service coordination to access other community resources. Home visits allow time to address pressing issues or priorities of the parent as well as focusing on parenting and family life skills training. Areas of learning include but not limited to infant/toddler care, child discipline, home safety, basic first aid, nutrition, meal planning, budgeting, financial management, household organization, household cleanliness, personal hygiene, social boundaries, and stages of child development. Home visits happen weekly and, if connected to parent education group funding source, maybe limited to a pregroup visit, monthly visits, and a post group visit. If the funding source is through Child Protection, visits are conducted weekly with some families receiving multiple visits per week.
- Supervised Visitation Services: Monitoring Supervised Visitation will enable a noncustodial parent and child(ren) in out-of-home placement to have contact with one another during a prearranged, specified period of time under the observation and monitoring of a trained visitation monitor. Supportive Supervised/Instructional Visitation will enable a noncustodial parent and child(ren) to have contact with one another under the supervision and guidance of a trained monitor/parent educator. The parent educator will actively provide guidance or facilitation of positive parent-child visits, with in-the-moment instruction about child behavior, interactions, play suggestions, and other tips to promote positive interaction and parent skill development. Support may include guidance and preparation assistance before the visit and reflection after the visit.
- Parent Education & Support Groups: Groups are offered on both general topic and specific subject groups (e.g., understanding abuse and neglect, parent-child communication, promoting literacy in young children, healthy relationships, understanding adolescents, and limit setting as well as material drawn from evidence-based curricula). Size of group limited to 14 parents. Group is staffed by a lead and co-facilitator. Child care and transportation is provided. Groups are conducted in series with each series lasting 8 to 10 weeks.
- Mentoring Support: The Family Friends Program provides individualized family support by fostering and supporting long-term voluntary relationships between community mentors and families headed by parents with cognitive disabilities. Relationships are geared toward the child, but are inclusive of the entire family. Mentors usually connect with families on a weekly basis.
- Transitional Supported Living Program: This program model offers more intensive support to five families through a structured living arrangement in which a family lives in their own residence in an apartment building. The goal is for parents to develop and strengthen their skills, gain family stability, and increase their capacity to participate in their community. The program is a “community within a community.” A “host” family also lives within the apartment complex and provides monitoring, onsite mentoring, teaching, and role modeling for parents with cognitive disabilities and their children. Families are involved in various levels of support and connect with staff several times weekly.
Positive Parenting Resource directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Parents with intellectual disabilities who may be poor and isolated, have limited literacy skills and resources, and lack understanding of basic parenting skills
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Children living within The Transitional Supported Housing program receive homework help, opportunities to participate in social and community activities, 1:1 time with program staff, parent and child events and community activities, and weekly "Kids Dinner."
For Department of Children and Families funded (DCF-funded) in-home parent education/home visiting, there are 1 to 2 visits per week for 1 to 2 hours each. For DCF-funded transitional housing, there are 2 to 3 visits per week in home or office for 2 to 4 hours total weekly. For Department of Children and Families funded (DCF-funded) supervised visitation, visits are 1 time per week, 2 times per month or one time per month. For grant-funded parenting groups/home visits, there are 2.5 hour-weekly parenting groups with 4 home visits (a pre-group visit, two monthly visits, then a post-group visit). For mentoring, the contact is 1 to 2 hours weekly.
For DCF-funded in-home parent education/home visiting, the duration is 3 to 18 months. For DCF funded transitional Housing, the duration is 1 to 3 years. For Department of Children and Families funded (DCF-funded) supervised visitation, the duration is determined by the DCF social worker and can be from 1 to 18 months. For grant-funded parenting groups, the duration is 8 to 10 weeks. For mentoring, the contact is ongoing, there is no time limit.
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Birth Family Home
- Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
Positive Parenting Resource includes a homework component:
Children within the Transitional Supported Living Program receive homework help as needed through the school year.
Positive Parenting Resource 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:
Space, transportation, child care
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Parent Educator: Minimum educational requirement is an Associate Degree. Coordinator or Director: Minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree.
Education and Training Resources
There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program; but there is training available for this program.
- Susan Jones
The United Arc
phone: (413) 774-5558
Training is obtained:
Depends on needs of agency
Number of days/hours:
Training available for 2, 4, or 6 hours
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Positive Parenting Resource.
National Council on Disability. (2012). Rocking the cradle: Ensuring the rights of parents with disabilities and their children. Retrieved from http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012/
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2014
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2018
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2014