Triple P: Positive Parenting Program
Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help promote healthy childhood environments. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Addressing behavioral and emotional challenges: Triple-P is a parenting and family support program for parents of children up to 16 years of age. By equipping parents with the skills to manage family issues, Triple-P aims to reduce child abuse and neglect and to prevent and treat behavioral and emotional problems in children.
Providing multiple levels of intervention: The Triple-P model is implemented community-wide and includes five levels of interventions, each of increasing intensity. At the lowest level, the implementing agency launches a public outreach campaign focused on raising awareness of the need to support parents and encouraging parents to access available resources. From there, Triple-P offers four levels of interventions for families who agree to participate in the program, with each level targeting a smaller subset of parents seeking support in addressing behavioral or emotional problems. This includes a range of interventions, from single-session seminars and brief series of group sessions to extended parenting workshops.
Tailoring intensity to family needs: When a family joins a Triple-P program, a practitioner assesses the level of risk the family faces through an intake interview, questionnaires, an observation of parent-child interactions, and more. Using this information, the practitioner selects which level of intervention would be most appropriate for the family, with those at highest risk of behavioral or emotional problems receiving the highest intensity interventions.
Offering flexibility in implementation: Triple-P may be implemented by local government and community-based agencies, such as county Departments of Health or child welfare organizations. With proper training, the program can be delivered by a range of professionals, including nurses, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and more. Delivery methods may also vary by implementation site, with one-on-one, group, and virtual options available.
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, Social Programs That Work, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice; the second-highest level of evidence by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
Multiple studies with rigorous designs provide some evidence for Triple-P as a strategy for improving child and adolescent behavior and reducing child abuse and neglect.
- This assessment is based on evidence from a 2021 systematic review.
Best practices in implementation
Address stigma associated with parenting programs: In many communities, there is stigma associated with participating in a parenting programs. To ensure families are willing to participate in Triple-P, implementing sites should conduct outreach to counter this narrative. Triple-P’s Level 1 intervention is a communications strategy aimed at raising awareness of the need to support parents and encouraging parents to access Triple-P services.
Offer flexible service delivery options: Families differ in how they prefer to access services and in the barriers they face to doing so. To ensure Triple-P is accessible to the largest number of families in a community, implementing sites should offer multiple avenues to accessing services. This may include traditional, in-person services; self-paced, virtual modules; services through a mobile clinic; and more.
Access training resources: To ensure that practitioners are knowledgeable and confident in delivering the program, implementing agencies should provide their staff with access to Triple-P-designed training. Typically, such training consists of two to three days of intensive workshops on the model’s core elements. Practitioners can also access supplemental training to specialize in working with specific populations (e.g., parents of children with a disability).
Establish processes to ensure fidelity: When implementing Triple-P, an agency should integrate quality assurance measures to ensure the model is being implemented with fidelity. Typical quality assurance measures include session checklists, which allow practitioners to ensure each component of a session is included; practitioner accreditation, which requires practitioners to pass a written exam and a formal observation before delivering services; and peer support networks, which facilitate collaboration and continual learning among practitioners.