Behavioral and Emotional Support and Training 2.0 (Anne Arundel FY18 and beyond) Annual

Better Off: % of parents completing Family Engagement Training that demonstrate increased frequency, duration and quality of parent/child interactions based on final Parenting Skills LADDER Assessment- Annual

100%FY 2022

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Story Behind the Curve

The BEST 2.0 program is doing a fantastic job providing much-needed education, support and training to parents with children expressing problem behaviors. The team has worked closely with Partnership staff to better understand the unique needs of families impacted by incarceration and to work with both the incarcerated parent and the families in the community to help address the stress and trauma children of incarcerated parents experience.  Some of the biggest improvements to this program revolve around the programming offered inside the jails/prisons to incarcerated parents to help them find ways to stay connected to their young children during incarceration (many had been choosing to not see their children assuming that seeing them in prison was more traumatic than not seeing them at all).  They also help parents process their own trauma and develop skills and tools to more effectively support their children and address those behaviors.

In addition, for the parents raising these children in the community, they have developed a certificate program within the college for those parents that complete all of the various components of the program. Many of these parents never saw themselves as being "right" for college - and participating in this program and achieving a non-credit certificate changes that perspective and gives them pride and self-confidence. In fact, several of the parents that completed the certificate program used that as a springboard to enroll in college to pursue an academic degree. It's been so inspiring!

  • The Partnership's Systems of Care initiative (including EC CRICT team)
  • Kinship Care program
  • DSS
  • Two north county Judy Centers
  • A.A. County Department of Corrections
  • Staff at Ordnance Road Detention Center
  • Open Book early literacy program for incarcerated parents with children
  • Centro de Ayuda (Center of Help for hispanic and latino families)
  • Chrysalis House (recovery house for mothers with children)
  • Local churches
  • Anne Arundel County Public Libraries
  • A.A. Co. Public Schools - Infants & Toddlers and Child Find programs
What Works
  • Use of Parents as Teachers curriculum augmented with other early childhood interventions and trauma-informed approaches has proved a potent combination
  • Working with both the incarcerated parents and the children in the community has yielded great results
  • Creating a certificate program to recognize the dedication of the parents who complete significant training is a great incentive, and the rigor imposed by the college to meet the criteria for the certificate ensures a strong, sound, and structured approach to the work
  • Giving parents tools to manage their frustration and work more productively and supportively with their children has been as important as the work done with the children themselves to help them identify their own emotions and then process and express them in a healthy way - a great two-pronged approach!
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