HEARTS for Families, Inc. established in 1997 as Family Nurturing Center of Georgia, Inc. to focus on substance abuse prevention and child abuse prevention. In 2012, the organization changed its name to HEARTS for Families, Inc. The acronym “HEARTS” stands for Help, Enrichment, Assessment, Research, Training and Support. We proudly can claim that for 13 years, HEARTS has been the highest funded prevention provider in the state of Georgia. And, in addition to onsite programming, they have been a leader in providing live-streamed online parenting programs for both group-based and one-on-one settings.
HEARTS is a National Trainer/Consultant for various parent education curricula preparing program facilitators to be confident and competent in working with families. In 2009 HEARTS was funded by the National Prevention for Substance Abuse Technologies to create and research a proven effective facilitator training model. In 2011, Emory University deemed the training model as evidence-informed and effective. Out of the 150+ National Trainer/Consultants for Nurturing Parenting Programs, only HEARTS has and uses a research-based facilitator training model.
HEARTS for Families currently offers multiple options for parenting program curricula, including: Nurturing Parenting, Guiding Good Choices, SMART Moves, and the All Stars Program, which has a parent component.
The Nurturing Parenting Programs (NPP) are family-based programs for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. These programs were developed to help families who have been identified by child welfare agencies for past child abuse and neglect or who are at high risk for child abuse and neglect. Additional Nurturing Parenting Programs have been developed to reach families not engaged in child protective services.
NPPs are for all audiences, including:
- Those referred to us via counselor, child protective service or court systems
- Teen Parents
The goals of NPPs are to:
- Increase parents’ sense of self-worth, personal empowerment, empathy, bonding, and attachment
- Increase the use of alternative strategies to harsh and abusive disciplinary practices
- Increase parents’ knowledge of age-appropriate developmental expectations
- Reduce abuse and neglect rates
Counselor and CPS referrals: Trauma-informed care
The excellent material in the training for Nurturing Parenting Programs (and the programs themselves) provide information about brain development and the impact on the brain of trauma and the need to “re-parent” parents to truly help them change behavior. These values have made many state agencies open to supporting Nurturing Parenting Programs throughout the country.
Trauma-informed care means that practitioners realize that many of those served have experienced trauma of some sort in their lives that has had an impact on their behavior and attitude or thought processes. Practitioners need to understand that sometimes what looks like resistance, noncooperation or disinterest is really an adaptation or coping mechanism that has helped an individual get through a traumatic experience and keep going. If practitioners address the trauma, they can help individuals address the issues that have arisen since the trauma. Trauma-informed care is a natural fit with Nurturing Parenting curriculum.
Nurturing Parenting Programs
Below is a list of the Nurturing Parenting Programs that HEARTS for Families currently offers. Please contact us for additional information and scheduling opportunities.
The Prenatal program addresses the current issues faced by couples expecting a child including the use of prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy; the relationship between healthy pregnancies and proper nutrition; the effects of stress on the baby; ways to keep a healthy sexual relationship; and issues of body image, weight gain, dieting and brain development during pregnancy.
9 group-based sessions
Nurturing God’s Way
This program is ideally suited for families who embrace the beliefs of Christianity and the practices of Nurturing Parenting. The Nurturing God’s Way program is an adaptation of the Nurturing Program philosophy and lessons designed and implemented specifically for parents of Christian faith.
21 group-based sessions
Parents & Their Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers
Developed, implemented and validated throughout the state of Louisiana, this evidence-based program provides intense group and individual home/parent sessions to families receiving services from child welfare. Parents attend 16 group sessions each lasting 2 1/2 hours. Families can also receive individual home/parent sessions between the group sessions to ensure the knowledge and skills presented in the group sessions are being implemented in home.
16 group-based sessions
Parents & Their School-Age Children 5-11 Years
A 15 session group-based program with over 25 years of research is recognized as one of the top parenting programs in the country designed for the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Parents learn to replace old unwanted abusive parenting patterns for more caring, nurturing ones. Activities Manuals detail activities for parents and children who engage in discussion, role play, expressive art activities, and assessments.
15 group-based sessions
Additional Parenting and Youth Programs
Guiding Good Choices Program
The Guiding Good Choices Program (GGC) is a multimedia substance abuse prevention program. For two hours a week, over a 5-week period, GGC gives parents of children ages 9–14 the knowledge and skills needed to guide their children through early adolescence. This program is designed to help parents reduce the likelihood that their children will develop problems with drugs and alcohol in adolescence.
Survival Kit for Parents
This interactive 12-week program enhances parenting skills for parents with children ages 2-21. It is designed to be presented in a series of workshops or within a church Sunday school time-slot. This program is written with biblical scriptures but can easily be adapted for presenting to a secular audience.
The SMART Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) prevention/education program addresses problems such as drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity. More than simply emphasizing a “Say No” message, the program teaches parents of young people ages 6 to 15 how to say no by involving them in discussion and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills and analyzing media and peer influence.
All Stars Program
All Stars programs reach youth during the years of greatest vulnerability to experimenting with substances, fighting, bullying, and initiating sexual activity. During this period – from the last years of elementary school through high school – young people experience amazing changes.
All Stars Core, Booster, and Plus target youth during the middle school years (ages 11 through 13). All Stars Senior is for high school students. All Stars Junior is for 4th and 5th grade elementary school students. The programs are designed to work together, covering the entire span of adolescent development.
Project CONNECT is an 8-week tobacco cessation and reduction program developed specifically for adolescents. Project CONNECT was developed through the review of numerous adolescent tobacco cessation programs, research on behavior change theory and by utilizing prevention and intervention models intended to address other risk behaviors. The development of this program was also guided by feedback from adolescent cessation group facilitators and cessation program participants. It was designed to motivate participants, to not only participate in the program (45 minutes per weekly session), but to ultimately make more positive choices, including changing their tobacco use, attitudes, and behaviors.
Contact us to learn more about how to bring our parenting programs to your community.