Course Description

Parenting Fundamentals is an eight week series of classes, offered in both English and Spanish, that provides parents with instruction in positive parenting skills, support, personal consultations, and referral information.  Parenting Fundamentals also teaches parents how to create an environment that improves their children’s academic performance and reduces the incidence of truancy, suspension and expulsion.  

Parents are taught effective discipline techniques that take the place of verbal abuse and spanking. Other topics covered are child development (what milestones and behavior to expect at what age); communication skills such as how to positively communicate with others, how to model patience and respect, and how to take care of the oneself as a parent or caregiver. 

Parenting Fundamentals is one of only a handful of programs across the country that meets the stringent requirements for placement on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, in Archivo Interamericano de Programas Y Pracitcas Basada en Evidencia in 2013, and in Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center in 2019.


The program offers three different curricula designed for parents with children ages 0-4, ages 4-8 ages 8-12, and ages 12-18.  Role plays, group discussions, videos and experiential exercises are used to provide the practice needed to feel comfortable using the positive parenting and caregiving techniques and skills learned.

Home visits

In addition to the curriculum presented, parents also are offered a minimum of three home visits during the series, which aid parents in understanding child behavior, teaches them how to cope during challenging moments, and provides them with a number of effective, practical, and positive discipline strategies.  

These home visits also provide parents with additional support, personal consultations and referral information.  As a result of the home visits, referrals for specialized services are often made.  Among these are: counseling for individuals, couples and families, along with access to support for those who are experiencing domestic violence; health care challenges; illiteracy; lack of housing; alcoholism; psychological and psychiatric issues, and anger management challenges. Finally, referrals are made for those in need of job placement services, legal consultations, and gang prevention programs.  

Home visits focus on the parents’ ability to provide the basic requirements for food, shelter, health care and to meet children’s emotional, intellectual and social needs.  Home visitors teach and demonstrate how to enhance parent-child interactions, create a safe, appropriate home environment and access health care and other services.   Because this service occurs in the home where family life takes place, home visits offer many advantages, including the ability to receive services without traveling to an office or arranging for child care. 

Stories such as this one are common in Parenting Fundamentals. After participating in Parenting Fundamentals, families are strengthened, the parent child bond is improved, and all members report feeling happier. In addition, children achieve more success in school, and families that would otherwise have been split up remain together.

We will also start offering an online, on-demand version of Parenting Fundamentals in 2023!

For further questions regarding Parenting Fundamentals, please email Samaris O. Vega Torres at [email protected]

“[My daughter] speaks to me instead of shutting me out and running to her room and texting on her phone. She actually pulls me into a room to speak to me about what’s on her mind.”

Parenting Fundamentals graduate