Zero to Thrive is delighted to welcome Dr. Angela Johnson to a new leadership role as the 

Zero to Thrive Director for Equity and Community Engagement. Learn more about the Zero to Thrive team.

Strong Roots Programs

Promoting health and resilience by fostering safe, strong, and positive relationships for families, agencies, and communities from pregnancy to age 6.

Early relationships lay the foundation for children’s developmental success and thriving families.

To be successful, children need emotional safety and strong connections, or Strong Roots. We use the metaphor of a tree to illustrate how, like trees, we all need strong roots to grow, branch out, and thrive. When parents meet their children’s needs for nurture and support, it builds and strengthens those roots, ensuring that children have what is needed for health and well-being. Our Strong Roots Programs recognize that parents also have needs for connection and support, and our programming strives to both meet parents’ own needs for support as they reflect on their experiences, and to encourage parents as they grow the skills and tools they can use to promote their own and their children’s health and wellbeing.  

We believe that Strong Roots concepts are the universal foundation of all responsive service delivery systems that touch the lives of pregnant women and families with children age 0-6. By focusing on developing strong relationships, we inspire and support resilience in children, parents, service providers, communities, and the efficacy of systems.


Mom Power

Mom Power is on a mission to promote health and resilience in these early years by fostering safe, strong and positive relationships for families, agencies and communities.


Fraternity of Fathers

Fraternity of Fathers is a program specifically tailored for dads of young children that utilizes adventure therapy principals to deliver attachment-theory based concepts in an interactive, fun, and supportive format.


Strong Military Families

The Strong Military Families (SMF) Program aims to improve the resilience and wellbeing of Michigan’s military and veteran families through the delivery of a positive parenting program.


Hearts and Minds

on Babies

Hearts and Minds on Babies offers professional development training for teachers, designed to support teachers as well as the teacher-child and teacher-parent relationship.

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Strong Roots Core Components

The Strong Roots Programs include five pillars, or core components:

  • Attachment-based parenting psychoeducation
  • Supported parent-child interactions
  • Enhanced social support
  • Connection to culturally relevant resources
  • Self-Care

The long-term outcome of these core components is to provide enhanced protective factors for families with young children. This includes an increased knowledge of parenting and child development, strengthened child social-emotional competence, increased social connections, improved access to concrete support in times of need, and strengthened parent and family resiliency.

Strong Roots Values

Our values are rooted in a commitment to:

Compassion, Respect, and Hope

Collaborative Relationships

Equity and

Social Justice

Research to


Strong Roots Services


The Strong Roots (SR) Full Model includes a multifamily group with 10 group sessions and three individual sessions with participants that delivers the curriculum with full model fidelity. Each of the flagship programs has a fully developed and tested model with established training curriculum.



Strong Roots (SR) Principles and Practices trainings allow organizations to identify specific needs that are addressed via short, targeted trainings and consultations that quickly infuse the SR concepts and skills necessary to promote resiliency in pregnant women and families with young children.


Strong Roots (SR) Encounters are very short (1-1.5 hour) Lunch and Learns, conference presentations, parent cafe, and consultations that present a specific SR concept that an organization identifies a need, a topic for training, and skill building.

The Tree Video

Mom Power uses The Tree as a metaphor to illustrate how parents can support young children’s social emotional development. Watch this brief video to learn about the Tree and how it can help parents recognize and understand young children’s behavior!

The Wondering Response Wheel Video

The Wondering and Response Wheel can help parents respond to children’s behavior and feelings in a way that addresses their needs and supports their positive emotional growth and development. Watch this brief video to learn how to use the Wondering Response Wheel!

Balanced Caregiving Video

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or another important adult, your child looks to you to figure out how to navigate the world. Zero To Thrive advocates for balanced caregiving, or responses to children that are warm and kind and strong and in charge. This brief video provides a more detailed explanation of balanced caregiving.

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"I learned tools to be a better parent. I look back on handouts to help me continue using these Strong Roots ideas."

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"I use the Strong Roots tools, especially the Tree, in all of my work with families."

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“I didn’t really have roots growing up, but now I know I can help my daughter build her roots. By being the best parent I can I am giving her the best chance at life.”

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"Parents find this to be a very user-friendly and empowering program, and when parents on my caseload participate I can see how it really ‘jump starts’ the work we do together through [home visiting program]."

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"This program helps you realize that you have to take care of yourself in order to be able to take good care of your child. It gives parents the tools they need to care for themselves so they can be the best parent they can be."

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"Training in the Strong Roots programs helped our agency and team build stronger connections so that we are able to better support the families we serve."


Please contact us if you are a professional looking for training or a parent looking for a group.