Family Support Programs
The Challenge | Some families lack the necessary resources to optimally raise their young children, but this is not a personal failing. Teen parents, adults with poor English literacy, first-time parents, and parents who were former foster children have specific needs for support and information to help them prepare their children for school success. All families need different levels of support which is where Smart Start takes action, in order for all children to turn five ready to thrive.
How We Help | Smart Start works on a system’s level through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a long-term solution, we work to change systems that create barriers for families. As a short-term solution, we work on a personal level by funding our community partners which directly provide support to families, addressing basic needs.
Child Adult Relationship Enhancement
Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) is a form of intervention that utilizes live coaching of adult caregivers and their children. CARE is skill-based intervention to enhance the adult-child relationship. Skills are taught by live coaching and caregivers practicing skills in pairs and small groups while trainers observe and coach. CARE is developed to be used by non-clinical professionals working with traumatized children and their adult caregivers to provide a whole trauma-informed environment.
Family Education Services
Thompson Child & Family Focus provides a series of parent education classes, parent and grandparent support groups, and community referrals for parents of children ages birth to five referred from the Department of Social Services. Thompson uses three evidence-based models, Nurturing Skills for Families, Incredible Years: BASIC Parent Training Program, and the Circle of Parents Family Support. Thompson is also a Triple P provider. Parents participate in role-playing/group discussion and practice activities within sessions and at home to learn additional approaches to support positive parenting outcomes
The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is designed for low-income mothers and their children. It includes one-on-one home visits by a trained public health registered nurse to participating clients. The visits begin early in the woman’s pregnancy (with program enrollment no later than the 28th week of gestation) and conclude when the woman’s child turns 2 years old. During visits, nurses work to reinforce maternal behaviors that are consistent with program goals and that encourage positive behaviors and accomplishments. Topics of the visits include prenatal care; caring for an infant; and encouraging the emotional, physical, and cognitive development of young children.
Safe Journey’s Parents as Teachers
The goal of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is to provide parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. The PAT model includes one-on-one home visits, monthly group meetings, developmental screenings, and a resource network for families. PAT may serve families from pregnancy to kindergarten entry.
YMCA Parents as Teachers
The goal of the YMCA Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is to provide Hispanic parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. The PAT model includes one-on-one home visits, monthly group meetings, developmental screenings, and a resource network for families. PAT may serve families from pregnancy to kindergarten entry.
The Basics Mecklenburg
The Basics is a public education campaign built on five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles important for healthy brain development for children from birth to age three. Eighty percent of brain growth happens in the first three years of life, and every child from every bacground can benefit from routinely engaging in these fun, simple, and powerful learning experiences. The Basics brain development campaign is working through a variety of local partners to ensure that every parent and caregiver is fully supported by family, friends, and the community to use ‘The Basics’ practices in everyday life.
Turn Five Ready to Thrive
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County
601 E. 5th Street, Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28202