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Circle of Parents® Best Practice Standards

  1. Circle of Parents® groups should meet weekly for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  2. Circle of Parents® groups should be supported with a "Leadership Team", which includes the following:
    • A parent leader
    • A trained, professional facilitator
    • A skilled children’s group leader
  3. Base the group on the following three foundational principles:
    • Shared leadership: Members pool resources (at the national, state and local level), whether it be cash, goods, services, expertise or in-kind contributions to carry out its mission. Parents® and "practitioners" are equal members at the table.
    • Family Support: Circle of Parents® recognizes the need to build on the strengths which exist within a family system. The support group process gives parents the opportunity to enhance their parenting skills and strengthen their family relationships.
    • Mutual Self Help: Circle of Parents® members build more effective parenting skills, while receiving and giving support to one another. Families have the opportunity to receive resource information through the informal family-friendly group meeting format. The Circle of Parents® program helps parents achieve their self-described goals by: helping reduce isolation, building self-esteem and reinforcing positive parenting. Exposing parents to other families provides reassurance that the challenges parents face are neither unique nor insurmountable. Parents® improve communication and problem-solving skills through their discussions of the frustrations and successes involved in particularly challenging family circumstances.
  4. Have separate groups for the parents and children.
  5. Provide dinner when groups are held in the evening hours.
  6. Provide a structured children’s program when parents bring their children, which emphasizes the importance of working with the family as a "whole" and reinforcing family support principles. Children’s programs provide a safe and supportive environment for children while their parents are participating in their group meetings.
  7. The group is open-ended/on-going.
  8. Circle of Parents® groups are always FREE of charge.
  9. Circle of Parents® groups are non-judgmental.
  10. Circle of Parents® groups are confidential, within the limits of the law.
  11. Circle of Parents® groups are always strengths-based (promotes positive parenting).
Circle of Parents® Best Practices