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Partners in Learning gets help from Duke Energy for parenting program

SALISBURY – Partners in Learning has received $1,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation that will support more families through the Triple P parenting program.

In addition to the child-focused services, Partners in Learning offers a family support program that includes Triple P Positive Parenting Services.

“We currently are unable to reach all of the families that are in need of the service due to funding. We provide a sliding fee scale for families, but there are limited funds to bridge the gap in what the families can pay and the true cost,” said Norma Honeycutt, executive director of Partners in Learning.

The $1,500 provided by Duke Energy Foundation will enable the agency to reach eight to 10 more families and complete 30 additional sessions, she said.

Triple P is designed to go into the homes of families to provide the most attentive and individualized services.

“By going into the family’s environment, we alleviate barriers to services often encountered and are able to obtain a better understanding of the challenges the families are facing,” said Triple P director Tonya Correll.

According to a 2009 study by Prinz, Triple P can produce communitywide positive effects such as slowing the rate of child abuse and reducing foster care placements. Partners in Learning has a contract with the Rowan County Department of Social Services to provide Triple P to families seeking reunification or who are under the DSS supervision.

“I began working with a mom of several children who were in foster care,” Correll says. “She had missed multiple appointments, and at first, it appeared this might not be a success story, but the tables turned. The parent always participated but was very vocal that, ‘This is common sense stuff; it is not anything different than most parents do.’ I explained to the parent that yes, it does seem to be common sense. However, when you use the strategies intentionally you will see a change not only in behaviors but a positive impact on your relationship with your child and how you feel about your parenting.

“After working through the sessions, we arrived at the observation/coaching stage. During this phase, the parent picks strategies to practice while the practitioner observes and provides feedback. The mother was not able to demonstrate any of the strategies we had been practicing. In fact, she was so negative, many of her parenting techniques were detrimental to the children’s well-being.

“The parent was advised of a change in the plan for her family and the children may be available for adoption rather than reunifying with the birth family. After that reality, the parent really changed her family’s trajectory. At the next visit, mom implemented multiple strategies. She managed to spend quality time with all four of the children.

“She was able to utilize behavior management strategies with the children. She provided descriptive praise encouraging and focusing on the children’s good behaviors rather than emphasizing everything they were doing wrong. It was an amazing transformation. This mother successfully graduated the Triple P course. She was set to begin unsupervised visitation the week after completing Triple P with reunification in the near future. Several children returning to their family and leaving the foster care system, that is community impact.”

To learn more about Triple P services or how to support Partners in Learning, visit http://epartnersinlearning.org/triple-p/.

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