About Circle of Parents: Program Model
In most states, support groups are developed, organized and supported by a state or regional network. A tradition of shared material and a strong program model have helped these entities maintain similar, yet unique, programs that work for each program's community.
The similarities of parent self-help support groups offered throughout the country are greater than their differences. Certain elements must remain constant to maintain the integrity of the model. For example, groups are always free, confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental, and promote positive and non-abusive parenting.
PCA America and the National Family Support Roundtable developed the following network standards to guide groups:
- The groups utilize the mutual self-help support model.
- A trained group facilitator and parent leader facilitate the support groups.
- Open groups meet weekly and are offered at no cost to any participant.
- Driven by parent need and feasibility, a no-cost children's program is available; if not possible, then quality childcare is provided.
- The group facilitator, parent leader and other group members are available to one another between group meetings.
- Groups are ongoing, require no intake, and, with few exceptions, are open to all parents.
- Group members are assured of confidentiality in a non-judgmental environment within the limits of the law.
- Community resource information that supports healthy family development is available to all group members.