Day 39 of 99 Days to FASDay: Family Check-Up Parenting Program

Day 39 of 99 Days to FASDay

Continuing our three-day focus on some scientifically validated parenting intervention programs that hold promise for FASD intervention, today we highlight: The Family Check Up program.

The information provided below is taken directly from the Report:  Prenatal Alcohol Use and FASD: Diagnosis, Assessment and New Directions in Research and Multimodal Treatment, 2011, 64-107, CHAPTER 4: An Innovative Look at Early Intervention for Children Affected by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure by Heather Carmichael Olson, and Rachel A. Montague. You can find the report by clicking here .

The Family Check-Up is a positive parenting intervention that focuses on preventing problem behavior and negative interaction styles in families at high psychosocial risk.

The goal of this intervention model is to support parents in a family-centered and ‘ecologically-focused’ manner. Like the FMF model (outlined yesterday, Day 38), the Family Check-Up also uses motivational interviewing and strengthens parents’ use of positive behavior support strategies.

This model is delivered by specially trained parent consultants, and is linked to a variable amount of additional parenting support services customized for the family.

The model was designed to be embedded into existing service systems, such as public school settings, and to be delivered at four transition time points in development.

This model has so far been tested in the very early years, at the toddlerhood and preschool timepoints. There are promising results showing improvements in care giving skills and decreased child behavior problems.

The neurodevelopmental viewpoint suggests that the Family Check-Up model would likely not be intensive enough for most families raising children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, even in the early years, unless sufficient follow-up parenting support sessions were provided.

This type of follow-up appears to be possible in an extended version of the Family Check-Up model. This model would have to be adapted to offer specific information about FASD, work on acceptance of the task of raising a child with a disability and slower developmental progress, advocacy, and other topics important to families raising children with neurodevelopmental problems.

Secondary data analysis would be useful to see if the Family Check-Up model holds promise for this clinical population. This analysis could identify children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, and their families, who receive the Family Check-Up Model, and then examine their outcome compared to the larger group.

According to their website The Family Check Up is a brief, strengths-based intervention model for children ages 2 through 17. It promotes positive child outcomes by improving parenting and family management practices. The Family Check-Up has more than 30 years of evidence demonstrating strong intervention effects. The Family Check-Up is for any parent or any provider working with parents. The model has been used successfully in diverse service settings, including community mental health agencies, publicly funded health centers, public schools, hospitals, university clinics, and Native American tribal communities. The program operates in 4 states in the USA and in several locations in Sweden.

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