This paper describes the organizational structure, program components, participant profile, group model, and benefits of Parents Anonymous (PA), which is a national child abuse prevention organization.
PA is dedicated to strengthening families through innovative strategies that promote mutual support and parent leadership. founded in 1970 through the joint efforts of a parent and a social worker, PA currently leads a national network of affiliated community-based groups with weekly meetings for parents and children. Each year, approximately 100,000 parents and their children come together in PA groups to learn new skills, transform their attitudes and behaviors, and create long- term positive changes in their lives. These weekly groups are led by parents and professionally trained facilitators and are free of charge to participants. While the parents are meeting, their children are usually engaged in specialized programs to promote healthy growth and development; free childcare is provided in sites in which these specialized programs are unavailable. Many State and local PA programs operate 24-hour telephone helplines to provide an immediate response to parents seeking help. PA also raises awareness and educates the public on critical issues and community solutions and joins with community, State, and Federal policymakers to promote effective services for families across America. Although only a small number of evaluation studies have been conducted to date, they suggest that PA is a promising approach to strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect. The partnership between PA and the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is also described. 6 references
Date Published: April 1, 1999