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The Parent Aide Model

The National Exchange Club Foundation's Parent Aide Model evolved from knowledge and experience of the dynamics surrounding child abuse and neglect. It is based on research and concepts first introduced by Drs. Ray Helfer and Henry Kempe, pioneers in the 1960s in the field. Their leading research on the battered child syndrome expressed belief that most parents who abuse their children are not psychotic and were likely to have been abused themselves as children. Most abusive parents grew up without positive role models for good parenting and often had difficulty developing healthy and trusting relationships.

Mentor and Role Model

The Parent Aide's role is to act as a mentor who assists parents by providing intensive support and information, and modeling effective parenting. The Parent Aide works with parents in their home. This provides an atmosphere of greater comfort and allows a parent to more readily develop a trusting, dependable relationship. The Parent Aide relationship with the parent provides

    1. A model for the parent in developing a trusting relationship with their own child.
    2. A safe environment to demonstrate new and effective parenting techniques based on child development information.
    3. In addition, the Parent Aide facilitates parent's problem solving skills and strengthening their network of social supports.


Success through Continuity and Consistency

The Parent Aide relationship with parents occurs through intensive and long term home visitation. Continuity and consistency of service are key to success. Ideally the home visits occur one to two times per week and continue for at least one year. This regularity and frequency reflects best practice standards recognized nationally by parenting and home visitation service models.