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 Black Catholic News

Effective Black Parenting Program

A History-Making Program

Until the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring created the Effective Black Parenting Program in the late 1970s, there were no programs widely available that addressed the unique issues of raising African-American children head on. There were also no programs that taught parenting skills in a manner that was respectful of African-American patterns of communication and which recognized the African roots of the Extended Black Family. Thus, the program occupies a very special place in the history of parenting education in the United States.

CICC's Effective Black Parenting Program, which is based on an achievement orientation of African-American parenting, provides an excellent learning and relearning context to help parents of African-American children do the best job possible. Its basic ideas are derived from the writing of African-American parenting scholars, from research with African-American parents, and from adaptations of parenting skills that have been found helpful in raising children of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Each of the parenting strategies and skills in CICC's Effective Black Parenting Program is taught by making reference to African proverbs like "Children are the reward of life" or "A Shepherd does not strike his sheep." The systematic use of these proverbs help to ground the teaching of the program in wisdom and skillfulness of the ancestors, and is an example of one of the many ways that the program promotes cultural pride.

Two Versions of the Program

There are now two versions of this empowering program. There is the complete program that is taught as a class that meets for 15 three-hour sessions. This class version is for groups of 10 to 25 parents. It teaches all of the program's strategies, skills and topics. A Briefer version for much larger numbers of parents is also available. This one-day seminar version can be taught to 50 to 500 parents at a time.

Learn More About this Program

A visit to CICC's website - www.ciccparenting.org - will provide additional information about the effective Black Parenting Program. There you will find the books that have been written about the program and its supportive research (Black Parenting: Strategies for Parenting, and Parent Training Today: A Social Necessity). You will find all of the materials that are needed to run the program including The Complete Instructor's Kit, a schedule upcoming parenting instructor-training workshops and enrollment information.

While you visit the CICC website, you - and all of the parents of young children in your parish and community can take the new CICC Discovery Tool, a questionnaire that lets you know how a child is developing in comparison to his or her age mates. Taking the CICC Discovery Tool also helps detect whether a child (birth to five years of age) may have special needs that require professional attention. If so, the Tool alerts you where to turn in your community for such help.

Taking the CICC Discovery Tool is another way to be an Effective Black Parent. Encouraging parents to "Take the Tool" is another way to be an Effective Black Community Leader!

Dr. Alvy is a Clinical Child Psychologist. He is the President of the public benefit Center for the Improvement of Child Care in California, which he founded in 1974 and which has grown to be one of the nation's largest and most influential parenting education organizations. He previously was head of the Children's Services at Kedren Community Mental Health Center in South Central, Los Angeles where the ideas for the Effective Black Parenting Program initially emerged. He lives with his wife, Mary, a Special Education Teacher, and their daughters, Lisa and Brittany, in Sherman Oaks, California.


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