A preliminary and partial version of the For Me, as a Parent… kit was tested by a first group of professionals who agreed to use and adapt the tools in their practice with parents. Since the kit’s launch in June 2008, a wide variety of organizations and professionals have incorporated these tools into their parent support programs: youth centres, health and social services centres, rehabilitation centres, community organizations and family centres, and private practices.
Professionals say they appreciate the kit’s flexibility of use. This flexibility, which is based on the professionals’ clinical insight, allows them to incorporate and improve upon the tools using their own knowledge of parents’ needs and of the specific situations in which they are intervening. Some examples of this would be parents who are on the defensive in a child-protection situation, young fathers, parents from different ethnic communities, or parents of children with specific problems (autism, intellectual disability or other problems).
Feedback from parents
The study that generated the kit used a certain number of illustrations as tools for data collection. In the subsequent interviews carried out with 129 parents, 86% of their comments were positive; many parents specifically highlighted how much they had enjoyed taking part in the study, particularly thanks to the illustrations, which they said made the interactions easy and fun.
«It was so much fun!»
«Well organized, it made you think.»
«We learn to discover ourselves. It’s visual – Bravo to the illustrator!»
«I really liked the little drawings; it was better than just talking. It’s like a game!»
«All parents should complete this questionnaire. It gives you back your self-esteem. It lets you see that raising children is important!»
Feedback from professionals
The professionals who tested the preliminary version of the kit systematically submitted evaluation forms on the different tools used. Based on their suggestions, illustrations were added or improved. In addition to their comments on specific tools, here are some of their observations about the kit as a whole and its positive outcomes.
«The illustrations are not overly ‘academic’ or ‘psychosocial’… They speak to the parents.»
«When we reach the point where we don’t know what to do next with a parent we’ve been supporting for some time, this helps in exploring new avenues of interaction.»
«Using illustrations allows us to slow down long enough to encourage reflection.»
«The tenderness seen in the illustrations helps parents to open up; it lowers their defences.»
«With a mother who has a mild intellectual disability, I was finally able to understand her perspective and modify the activity accordingly.»
«The illustrations make group activities more enjoyable, and make it easier for me to lead the group.»
«In a group, using the illustrations as ice-breakers allows us to start off on a positive note and invites the parents to reflect.»
«With clients who are not very educated or who come from another culture, the tools can facilitate discussion.»
The For Me, as a Parent… kit received the 2008 professional award from the Ordre des psychoéducateurs et psychoéducatrices du Québec (OPPQ).
Since its launch in June 2008, more than 700 kits have been sold to various types of organizations working with families.
The For Me, as a Parent… kit is a translation of the original French Moi, comme parent… kit. The first 2008 French edition of the kit was aimed at parents of children from 0 to 5 years old; a supplementary section for children ages 6 to 11 years was added in the 2nd edition of Moi, comme parent… (2010) in response to demands from the professional communities.
An Italian version of the kit, Sostenere la genitorialità. Strumenti per rinforzare le competenze educative (2011), is also available from Erickson Editions.
For Me, as a Parent… and the research project that generated it have been the subject of many knowledge dissemination activities and publications.