Clearfield County parenting program to expand to Centre County

Centre County parents will have an additional resource to help them successfully raise their children with the expansion of Triple P — Positive Parenting Program.

Clearfield County Children’s Aid Society was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The grant began July 1, and expanded programming into Centre County. Programming focuses on “evidence-based programs that reduce violence, juvenile delinquency and child abuse and neglect,” according to a CAS press release. Funds will be used for training and development. Philipsburg-Osceola and Bald Eagle Area school districts will be targeted program areas.

BEA Superintendent Jeff Miles said teaching requires the help of the district, its employees and parents. He said any chance the district has to help parents succeed at raising their children is a positive program.

“It’s all of us,” Miles said.

CAS offers adoption and foster care services, child care, early learning, youth mentoring and family support services. Its mission is to “identify and provide services to improve the lives of children and their families.”

The Triple P was developed at the Parenting and Family Support Centre at Australia’s University of Queensland. It is designed to provide parents with the skills they need to raise their children with a strong family relationship.

CAS Executive Director Bonnie Floro said P-O and BEA were selected based on “the highest need” after comparing all Centre County school districts, evaluating economic statistics and calculating other risk factors measured by the Pennsylvania Area Youth Survey.

“It was discovered that Centre County youth face extremely diverse levels of disadvantage based on where they live,” Floro said.

Although those two districts are targeted areas, anyone from the county is eligible to attend the program.

“The target population is parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 16 with moderate to severe behavior and/or emotional difficulties or for parents who would like to gain a more in-depth understanding of positive parenting,” CAS Executive Director Bonnie Floro said in a press release. “We expect to serve 100 families over the two-year period.”

“It doesn’t tell people how to parent, but gives parents simple tips and strategies they can adapt to their own situations,” according to the program description.

In Centre County, CAS will teach Level 4, Standard and Group Triple P training. Level 4 is an intensive training course in positive parenting. Standard Triple P is offered on an individual basis and consists of 10 weekly one-hour sessions. The level of risk each family faces is evaluated by staff who assess, monitor and observe parent-child interactions.

Through training, parents are advised to make a parenting plan that consists of a variety of strategies and tools taught in the program. CAS is seeking self-referrals from families and community agencies, and all services are given with no cost to participants.

Scheduling for individual and group formats will begin soon. For more information, call 765-2686 ext. 206 or email triplep@childaid.org.

Marley Parish reports on local government for the Centre Daily Times. She grew up in Slippery Rock and graduated from Allegheny College.