Freedman Center for Child & Family Development
In 2008, The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology received funding from The Weil Foundation to create a training program for students and community mental health professionals called Leading Culturally Sensitive Parent Education Support Groups. In this program, students learn about models of group facilitation, stages of infant and parent development, recognizing signs of post-partum depression and early relational discord, and establishing a parenting series within a community agency.
While attending parenting groups is a growing part of the expected norm in our society, this is not necessarily the case in other cultures. By using existing prevention-based parenting facilitation models and modifying them to include cultural awareness, sensitivity and integrity, this program reaches out to high-risk populations and strengthen the parent-child connection.
In collaboration with the Latino Mental Health Training Program at MSPP, this training program puts intentional focus on leading a parenting series for Latina mothers. In Massachusetts, Latinos make up approximately 6 percent of the population and are the largest minority group in the state. Research indicates that Latinos in Massachusetts have significantly high rates of depression overall, as well as persistent health disparities. Addressing these disparities requires restructuring current teaching models to include culturally appropriate efforts for addressing health and wellness issues.
The Freedman Center at MSPP collaborates with community agencies to build a strength-based prevention model that will help them better serve the needs of parents and families.
If you would like to bring this parenting training program and model for sustainability to your site, please contact:
Margaret Hannah, M.Ed.
Executive Director, Freedman Center for Child & Family Development