The Importance of Strong Beginnings
Infants and young children involved in the child welfare system have special needs for trauma-informed, responsive caregiving, and both biological and foster parents/kin have unique needs for support. Children can benefit when their foster parents/kin and biological parents have support in navigating the complexities of responding to their young child(ren)’s emotional needs, learn ways to partner with each other and with important caregivers in the child’s life, and have opportunities to connect with other families in similar circumstances.
What is the Strong Beginnings Curriculum?
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.