Online Program

Strengthening Parenting at a Population-Level by Mobilizing Mental Health, Public Health, Primary Care, and Non-Traditional Partners

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sara van Driel, Ph.D., Triple P America, Columbia, SC
Barbara Sheppard, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Kannapolis, NC
Martha Kaufman, Alamance County Health Department, Burlington, NC
Background: All parents struggle with difficulties with their children, yet few parents seek parenting support. This leaves children, parents, and communities at risk of a host of potential problems (e.g., social/emotional struggles, child maltreatment, etc.). This presentation will focus on how North Carolina aims to strengthen parenting at a population level through implementation of an evidence-based parenting program with a public health approach.

A framework for providing parenting support at a population level will be shared in addition to evidence of community level effects of the approach. Vision and scope of the work in North Carolina will be shared, followed by implementation case studies of two particularly successful counties.


  • Initial community plans started by assessing needs and resources in parenting services within individual communities. Organizational readiness assessments in a variety of community organizations followed. These steps helped to determine service provision partners and target family reach goals.
  • Training was conducted for practitioners who were identified to deliver service. Collaborative peer support groups were formed.
  • The following data were collected:  number of practitioners, practitioner setting, practitioner discipline, practitioner participation in service delivery, parent reach, child behavior change, parenting skills change, and practitioner satisfaction.


  •  Both communities have been successful in engaging a wide variety of parent service areas, and practitioners are beginning to emerge from their siloed work to more intentionally collaborate with other community organizations to promote family strengthening at the community level.
  • Parents and practitioners reported high levels of satisfaction, and changes in child behavior and parenting as a result of completing the program. Specific data to these ends will be shared.

There is great promise in strengthening parenting at a population level. Given different needs and resources in communities, specific implementation plans will differ; however, there are some key processes and factors that are important for success (e.g., determining a common community goal, determining community needs and resources, engaging a wide variety of community partners, promoting collaboration amongst practitioners, etc.).

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how addressing parenting at a population level can impact important community health outcomes (e.g., prevalence of child maltreatment, prevalence of childhood mental health diagnoses, etc.) in a community. Explain how having a common goal (such as prevention of child maltreatment) can stimulate collaboration among agencies that have traditionally worked in isolation within their sectors. Identify both strengths and challenges to cross-agency collaboration at a community level.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology, completed clinical internship at Duke Medical Center, and focused my dissertation research on a light-touch intervention within Triple P. My experience with Triple P has spanned a variety of roles, including research, practice, training, and implementation support over 12 years. In my current role, I provide support to communities, agencies, and individuals that are implementing Triple P, including serving as the Implementation Consultant for Cabarrus and Alamance Counties.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Triple P America Triple P - evidence based parenting program Employment (includes retainer)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.