Parents as Leaders

Parents as Leaders provides Circle of Security Parenting education to parents and caregivers in Missoula. The goal of the project is to strengthen families’ resiliency and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Child abuse and neglect continues to be an issue in Missoula and around the state. In 2015, there were 173 cases of child abuse and neglect filed in Missoula County. This is a 33% increase from the 130 cases filed in 2014 (Missoula County Attorney’s Office, Annual Report- 2015). Missoula is also a region plagued by poverty and a poor economy. Nearly 1 in 5 Missoula children live in poverty (Montana KIDS COUNT), and almost half of school children qualify for free or reduced lunch (Montana Office of Public Instruction). Poverty is the single strongest predictor of child abuse and neglect, however child maltreatment occurs in families of all income levels.

Early intervention, such as Circle of Security Parenting, can promote protective factors and reduce the risk of child maltreatment. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) identifies parent education as a core prevention service. Circle of Security has been recognized as one such program that builds secure attachment between the parent and child.  The Parents as Leaders Program offers free Circle of Security classes to the Missoula community on a quarterly basis. Over the last two years, the program has served 211 participants through parenting education programs and has formed partnerships with numerous agencies.

Over the last year, WORD has partnered with 10 different agencies to host parenting classes and refer clients, which has allowed them to better reach diverse and at-risk populations. These partners include 3 Rivers Mental Health Center, Western Montana Mental Health Center, Winds of Change Mental Health, Head Start, Early Head Start, Learning and Belonging Preschool, Discovery Preschool, Union Gospel Mission Women and Children’s Shelter, Western Montana Addiction Services, and Salvation Army. In addition, they have received referrals from Child and Family Services.

Learn more here! 

Or contact Becky Margolis for more information:

Phone: (406) 543-3550

Email: bmargolis@wordinc.org

Posted in Clinical & Community Preventive Services, Missoula and tagged , , , , , , .