Responding to the need for services in our community to reduce child maltreatment, and to bolster familial relationships and economic stability, The Children’s Shelter created the iParent SA program, a comprehensive parenting and family strengthening program with immediate and long term outcomes. Parents with children of all ages may enroll in iParent SA. Highly trained and qualified Parent Educators work with families to facilitate evidence-based parent education curricula; the evidence-based Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (S.T.E.P.) curricula to reduce child abuse and help parents become their child’s first teacher. Simultaneously, through case management, Parent Educators work with parents to create an individualized Service Plan that allows them to set attainable goals and identify steps to accomplish their goals. The Parent Educators connect parents with community resources for job training and placement, healthcare, and other assistance. Following this evidence-based model ensures outcomes including reduced child maltreatment and increased self-sufficiency. The goal of iParent SA is Happy Children, Nurturing Families and Strong Communities for all of Bexar County and long term outcomes include reducing child abuse and neglect, increasing economic stability, increasing school readiness and strengthening familial relationships.
In-Home Parenting Training
Family Enrichment Activities
24/7 Crisis Intervention
Emergency Day/Night Respite
Outputs for Fiscal Year 2012:
During Fiscal Year 2012, iParent SA will begin serving clients. At full enrollment, iParent SA will serve 150 clients.
Since the iParent SA program began enrolling clients in December 2010, parents have already began achieving their goals of providing nurturing care to their children, graduating from high school, enrolling in college, meeting their basic needs, finding jobs, and increasing their ability to cope with stressors. Several clients shared their experiences with iParent:
“I learned how to discipline . . . and learned a lot [like] child development and what’s different about men and women. I liked everything about the program.”
“I learned its okay to feel certain ways and about developing personal power.”
“I learned the difference of punishing and discipline, [they] are different. And, about my baby’s development.”
Did You Know?
In 2009, Bexar County families experienced multiple factors that hindered the strengthening of the community. According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District:
Bexar County has a child abuse rate of 13.6, or 3,716 children in 2009
26% of all Bexar County births were to a mother without a high school diploma or G.E.D.
25% of mothers received late prenatal care
The types of interventions that Metro Health encourages include programs to increase self-sufficiency, improve maternal health, and provide parenting education. These programs have the potential to address the burdens families face by keeping children safe and increasing opportunities for parents.
The iParent SA program ultimately seeks to create a culture of parents engaged with raising their children. This has a twofold impact on our clients and their families. With case management services, parents access resources to help them
achieve their goals. Through the evidence-based Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (S.T.E.P.) curricula parents learn skills to care for their child and improve their child’s school readiness. After participating in these components, our clients show more dedication to their role as a parents and have a more significant role in their children’s lives. This decreases the child’s likelihood of living in poverty and many risk factors, like delinquency, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy, as the child grows. This creates a lasting impact on the community. Each element of iParent SA promotes permanent changes for families.