Tailoring to Unique Populations
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Strong Roots Adaptations are programs that use Strong Roots core concepts to tailor our flagship program, Mom Power, to be used for unique populations. We do not run regular trainings for these programs but do partner with organizations on as-needed requests.

Interested in furthering our research in these programs?
  • Fraternity of Fathers
  • Strong Military Families
  • Strong Beginnings
  • Hearts and Minds on Babies
Fraternity of Fathers

Fraternity of Fathers

A Group-Based Intervention Program for Fathers of Young Children Looking for Better Connection

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. Dads in the community gather together for 10 weekly sessions to discuss fatherhood, how individual experiences impact parenting styles, and new ways to think about and understand the development and behaviors of their children. This is a closed group, meaning fathers who begin the group move through the program together without the introduction of new members allowing for meaningful connections to be made and bonds to be formed with a consistent group of men. The program includes an Individual session so fathers have the opportunity to meet with a group facilitator to explore their satisfaction and feedback about the group and also to discuss additional supports or resources they may need.

This training will provide a comprehensive overview of Strong Roots concepts and the Fraternity of Fathers program, and allow attendees opportunities to practice delivering program elements in an interactive format.

How Does Fraternity of Fathers Help?

The importance of paternal involvement in a child’s life is well documented. Fathers play an essential role in the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral development of their kids. Despite the established significance of fathers, there remain few resources and minimal support available for men with children.

This training will provide a comprehensive overview of Strong Roots concepts and the Fraternity of Fathers program, and allow attendees opportunities to practice delivering program elements in an interactive format.

 Program Highlights

  • Integrated mental health and parenting intervention
  • Based in adventure therapy principals, interactive and novel
  • Was developed with input from fathers in the community
  • Provides safe inclusive space just for fathers to find support and create community
  • Decreases parenting stress for fathers who participate
  • Fun weekly opportunities to practice and reflect upon skills needed in being a parent, communication, team work, emotion regulation
Strong Military Families

Strong Military Families

A Group-Based Intervention Program for Military Families with Young Children

Parenting across the deployment cycle raises special challenges for military families with young children. The Strong Military Families (SMF) Program aims to improve the resilience and wellbeing of military and veteran families through the delivery of a positive parenting program. The SMF Program includes military service members, their spouses or partners, their young children from birth to 8-years-old, and older siblings. The program is unique in that the whole family participates. 

The SMF program incorporates a parent group curriculum and a corresponding child group curriculum, and is designed to address five core pillars: 1) increasing social support, 2) broadening positive parenting strategies, 3) enhancing parent-child connections, 4) learning stress reduction and self-care, and 5) connecting families to resources. 

Program Highlights

  • Delivered in 10 weekly sessions or in a 2-day “weekend retreat” format
  • Families in regions not currently served by the multifamily groups have the option of participating in a home-based version of the program, receiving regular weekly mailings conveying the SMF curriculum content. 
  • Community-based agencies have been trained in implementation of the program.
  • Program evaluation results indicate that parents who participate in the SMF groups feel more confident, are more effective in parenting, report a reduction in mental health symptoms, and describe improved child behavior.  
Strong Beginnings

Strong Beginnings

A Group-Based Intervention Program for Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals in the Child Welfare System

The Strong Beginnings curriculum uses Strong Roots concepts to support parents, caregivers, and child welfare and court team professionals, and focuses on nurturing and supporting early foundational relationships that are at the core of young children’s healing and resilience. Our group-based approach offers parents connection with other caregivers facing similar challenges, and helps parents feel less alone.  When parents and caregivers have access to information and strategies for effective parenting and co-parenting, they feel more supported are better able to respond effectively, and with empathy, to the child and to other important people in the child’s life. Reduced parenting stress is critical for retention – both for foster families/kin and for professional staff.  

This support and training for all parents and caregivers in the child’s life can strengthen the relationships that are essential to young children’s ability to adapt and cope, which can decrease behavioral concerns for children and positively impact placement stability. Early relationships are foundational for all children and families, and the Strong Beginnings model supports all the critical relationships that can help young children involved in the child welfare system not just grow, but to thrive. 

Hearts and Minds on Babies

Hearts and Minds on Babies

A Group-Based Intervention Program for Early Childhood Educators

Hearts and Minds on Babies offers professional development training for teachers, and is currently being delivered and evaluated in Early Head Start classrooms at sites across Michigan. 

Our program is designed to support teachers as well as the teacher-child and teacher-parent relationship. To accomplish this, Hearts and Minds on Babies delivers an attachment-based curriculum that supports teachers in nurturing young children’s development, while also building social support and effective strategies for stress management for parents and teachers, as well as a useful framework for responding to common caregiving challenges. The program is currently undergoing a federally-funded collaborative multisite evaluation led by faculty from Wayne State University (Ann Stacks, PhD), Michigan State University (Claire Vallotton, PhD, and Holly Brophy-Herb, PhD) and the University of Michigan Zero to Thrive program (Maria Muzik, MD and Kate Rosenblum PhD). Results of our initial evaluation suggest that the professional development training strengthens teachers’ understanding of children’s emotional experiences, increases sensitive responding, and creates a common language for parents and teachers to communicate about young children’s experiences. 

Program Highlights
  • It is not a “lecture” format, but hands-on, activity-based, engaging learning
  • We attend to parallel process and promote positive interactions between teachers and co-facilitators, teachers and parents, and teachers, parents, and children
  • We offer and talk about practical ways of understanding and helping children with difficult feelings and behaviors
  • We introduce new concepts through video, activity, and discussion, and think together about how to apply these concepts in the classroom
  • Knowing that teaching is a demanding job, we attend to teacher self-care and introduce and practice strategies for reducing stress and taking care of ourselves