Introduction: An evolving body of research has demonstrated that parent education has a positive impact on children, parents, and the community. CHILDREN AT RISK conducted a needs assessment of parent support programs in Houston, Texas to determine if there was perceived need and community support for a community-wide approach to evidence-based parent education.

Setting: The needs assessment was conducted by a research and advocacy non-profit that had the support of academic advisors in Houston, Texas.

Methodology: The needs assessment included 70 key informant interviews, 3 focus groups, data collection, a literature review, and a participating stakeholder survey from 28 organizations.

Findings: Less than 1% of parents have access to evidence-based parent education in Houston, Texas despite a perceived need and a willingness from community organizations to make evidence-based parenting support programs more available to parents.

Conclusion: Conducting a rigorous needs assessment in conjunction with building partnerships and a coalition is a successful strategy to develop and move forward with recommendations that are supported by research and the community.

Author Biography

Nancy Correa is the Director of the Center for Parenting and Family Well-Being at CHILDREN AT RISK. In this role, she leads an effort to prevent child abuse and promote parent education in collaboration with other organizations through systems change. Nancy received her Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health and her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Policy Studies from Rice University. Nancy’s interests include child abuse prevention, coalition-building, evaluation, and health promotion. Prior to working at CHILDREN AT RISK, Nancy worked as a research and evaluation consultant in Boston, MA. She also formed a nonprofit organization to prevent childhood obesity in the Houston community.

Christopher Greeley, MD, FAAP, currently serves as a Professor of Pediatrics in the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine at University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. He is board certified in pediatrics as well as Child Abuse Pediatrics, and is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is a member of the AAP Section on Child Abuse and Neglect and Section on International Child Health. His main clinical interests are in International Child Health, Child Abuse and Neglect and vulnerable populations. Dr. Greeley recently received a large and very competitive National Institute of Health grant for the study of a child abuse prevention strategy in young families. He was also appointed by Lt. Governor Dewhurst to the Texas Statewide Blue Ribbon Task Force for child abuse prevention and child wellbeing, which he chairs. Dr. Greeley was also the 2006 Ray E Helfer Award winner. The Ray E Helfer Award is an annual award jointly presented by The American Academy of Pediatrics and The National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds “to a distinguished pediatrician for his or her contribution to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.”

Angelo P Giardino, MD, PhD is the Vice President/Chief Medical Officer of Texas Children’s Health Plan, Chief Quality Officer for Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital, a clinical professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, an attending physician on the Texas Children’s Hospital Child Protection Team. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Child Abuse. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a member of the Academic Pediatrics Association and Texas Pediatric Society where he is co-chair of the Children with Disabilities Committee and serves on the Child Abuse and Neglect Committee. His academic accomplishments include publishing several textbooks on child abuse and neglect, presenting on a variety of pediatric topics at national and regional conferences, and serving on several national boards including the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse America, the National Advisory Board of the Institute for Safe Families and the Advisory Board for Justice for Children.