Assessment of a Parenting Education Program
Child abuse and neglect in the United States is a highly sensitive issue. According to federal statistics, 1,640 children died from child abuse and neglect in the United States during the fiscal year 2012 (U.S. DHHS et al., 2013). There are multiple theories on how to prevent abuse and protect children from maltreatment. Experts in the field of child welfare believe a critical element in the prevention of child abuse and neglect is parenting education and support services for at-risk populations.The twofold purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a parenting education program offered at Saint Joseph Parenting Center (SJPC) in Stamford, CT in promoting positive parenting behaviors through parenting education and to assess the level of client satisfaction with the teachers, staff, and overall experience at SJPC. The study analyzed data from surveys given to SJPC clients between April 19, 2010 and February 13, 2013. The sample consisted of 63 registered clients who completed at least ten classes before February 13, 2013. All 63 clients completed the client survey after completing ten classes and 42 clients completed the same survey a second time after completing twenty classes. Results from frequency analysis of the data indicated a reported increase in positive parenting behaviors since beginning the program and a reported decrease in negative parenting behaviors. An analysis of variance failed to reveal a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the 10-class and 20-class surveys. Frequency analysis of the surveys indicated a positive review of the teachers, staff, and overall experience at SJPC by clients. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are discussed.