“For 30 years, Parent Promise/Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma has been providing in-home parent education and support to families that face challenges in raising their children in a positive home environment. Their focus is to strengthen families by helping stop generations of helplessness and hopelessness and help parents eliminate toxic stress in the home that can lead to child abuse and neglect. The organization was founded in 1988 as the Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of Oklahoma, Inc. In 2001, the organization merged with Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma and expanded services to include public education, community awareness and parenting resources.
Parent Promise programs focus on reaching families with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that indicate they would benefit from the support they receive through in-home support. Many of their clients experienced ACE factors that include, but are not limited to, experiencing emotional, physical or sexual abuse; neglect in the households; separation of parents due to divorce, death or incarceration or witnessing domestic abuse. National research has shown that adults who have experienced trauma during childhood are more likely to have poor health outcomes, such as heart or lung disease, brain illnesses and substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, most of the clients we serve have experienced four or more ACEs in their childhoods, making them particularly vulnerable to perpetuating unhealthy cycles in their own families. Childhood trauma and ACEs are finally being understood as a top public health concern in the United States.
Fortunately, there are programs like Parent Promise that can help offset ACEs adults have experienced and help build resilency. Clients in their program participate voluntarily through referrals from hospitals or other state agencies, and Parent Promise can work with these families one-on-one for several months or years. Parent Promise offers two evidence-based support programs: Parents as Teachers (PAT) for families with children 0-5 and The Exchange Parent Aide Program, which can help families with children all the way up to 12 years old. Through regularly scheduled in-home parent education sessions, trained parent educators work with the family to help them identify and address the factors affecting their current parenting outcomes, as well as build on parental strengths. They also stress school readiness and provide learning resources, including an age-appropriate book at each visit. Their program is very effective, with fewer than 5% of our families ever having a substantiated child abuse referral to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Parent Promise serves approximately 150-170 families in Oklahoma County each year. The average stay in the program is 18-24 months. To qualify for our programs, families must be in their 29th week of pregnancy if it is a first-time pregnancy or have a child in the home age 12 or younger. Clients primarily range in the medium- to high-risk category of the Adverse Childhood Experience Index. Of the more than 200,000 children under 19 years of age in Oklahoma County, 41% have had at least one adverse childhood experience. Parent Promise clients tend to have ACE scores of 3 or above.
As it celebrates 30 years of strengthening families, the organization is continuing to expand its parent education models and create more opportunities for children to enjoy their fundamental right to grow, play and learn in a safe and secure environment so they have every opportunity in life to succeed.”
View Parent Promise’s website by clicking HERE