Goal 2: Strengthen connections among parents, families, and communities Print E-mail

Goal 2: Strengthen connections among parents, families, and communities


Building social support and coping skills empowers individuals and families which builds resiliency in communities

Action: Support to parents to strengthen parenting capacity and literacy skills

Parenting capacity and connection indicators

  • # playgroups available for parents and children 0-5
  • % of parents reporting satisfaction with content, quality, family centeredness, cultural proficiency of services
  • #/% of parents/caregivers reporting they are knowledgeable about what skills/behaviors are appropriate for their child’s age
  • #/% of parents/caregivers reporting they are more informed about how to be better parents
  • % of parents/caregivers reporting they deal better with parenting issues
  • #/% of families connected to supportive networks & needed services
  • #/% of parents of children needing assistance in reaching developmental potentials reporting that they have social support
  • # families served through parent support hot lines/warm lines # substantiated cases of child abuse/neglect

Synopsis of results related to parenting capacity and connection indicators: In 2015, First 5 Humboldt supported sixteen playgroups throughout Humboldt County. A high percentage of participants in First 5 Humboldt’s Parent and Family Support Programs report satisfaction with the content, quality, and family centeredness of services. The number of families served by the local warm line, 211 Humboldt, continues to remain high. Support for parents of children needing assistance in reaching developmental levels is occurring directly at eight playgroups and parents report high levels of support for themselves and their children with special needs.

Parent voices

What is most enjoyable for you/your child about playgroup?

  • Community support, interaction. Talking to other parents to gain parenting feedback
  • Seeing such joy on the kids faces and talking with other adults with similar situations
  • Everyone here is so supportive and kind! It's done wonders for an only child's social skills!
  • How everyone helps out and my son throughout the week is always talking about it. Makes him happy
  • I enjoy the structure to get my child preschool ready and a safe environment for her to meet other children.
  • Playing with all the toys and dressing up in the tiger outfit. Arts and craft stuff and storytime.
  • Lo que mas disfruto es ver a mi hijo feliz/What we enjoy is to see my son happy
  • I love how everyone helps each other and has tips on the kids’ activities. This is a wonderful thing for parents and kids
  • Getting to meet other parents. My child making new friends. Sharing ideas about parenting
  • Seeing my child's enjoyment in the group and learning new things

 

Results related to the number of playgroups available for parents/caregivers and children ages 0-5

In 2015, there were sixteen First 5 Humboldt funded playgroups located throughout Humboldt County. These free/low cost playgroups provide free/low cost play opportunities for 0-5 age children and their families including activities for fine and gross motor skill development; structured activities and learning opportunities for children and parents/caregivers such as literacy activities, music, arts and crafts; parent/caregiver support and social connections with other parents; and provide parents/caregivers information about other available supports and services for families with children 0-5. In 2015 the number of visits to playgroups decreased from the prior year (counts are duplicated) in part because three playgroups closed during the year and one program is no longer being included in playgroup counts as it is a parent support group and not a playgroup. See Figure 19 below for details on numbers of visits to playgroups.

 

First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey results related to parenting capacity and connection

 

When asked “How much positive effect have the services/activities here had on you, your child, or your family (for example, did your or your child’s ideas or behaviors change for the better)?” 91.5% of 2015 respondents answered “a lot” or “some” down slightly from 93.1% in 2014. From 2007-2015, the mean response to this question each year was between 3.6 and 3.7 every year, with 4 being “a lot” and 1 being “none.” See Figure 21 for more detail about responses to this question.

 

Parent voices

Has the program had a positive effect on you, your child, and /or family?

  • Playgroup has been the core exposure for our toddler to other kids and people. We have no family in the area and these playgroups are a godsend
  • Love having a safe, fun, new space for kids to run and play. Love getting advice/perspective from other parents and staff
  • It’s been a valuable resource, a great place to connect with friends and create community and offers lots of learning opportunities
  • It gave my first-born a chance to learn from other children and sped up her development and created a community for my youngest once he came along
  • Infant massage is a great way to connect with my baby. It helps calm him and he loves interacting with the other babies
  • It is really great to have a program that enables kids in rural areas to get together and work on social skills, develop friendships, and learn
  • It has helped me so much with post-partum depression. I get out of the house, meet other moms.

According to the 2015 Participant Survey results, most parents/caregivers feel the services/activities offered by First 5 program(s) have helped them learn more about what skills/behaviors are appropriate for their child’s age as evidenced by the mean responses from 2011 through 2015 seen in Figure 22.

 

When asked if taking part in the services/activities offered by the program had resulted in dealing better with parenting issues, 74.4% answered “a lot” or “somewhat” (Figure 23). This is a slight increase from 73.4% in 2014. See Figure 24 for more details.

 

 

Parent voices

Are you more informed about parenting as a result of First 5 Humboldt Program participation?

  • Connecting with other moms has been essential to being a better parent myself
  • Hemos tenido que trabajar en la disciplina con nuestros hijos, y tomar las clases de disciplina positiva me ha ayudado mucho /We have had to work on our children´s discipline, and having taken classes of positive discipline has helped me a lot
  • If not for this place and these programs and people, I wouldn’t have become the father I am
  • I learned how to better respond to [my daughter’s] tantrums
  • We are expecting our first child and we’re very grateful for any help and info. We have learned much here
  • I [am] very grateful for this program because it helps me be the best mom I can be

 

 

In 2015, 88.9% of parents/caregivers surveyed feel a little, somewhat, or a lot more connected to the services and help they need as a result of the activities provided through First 5 Humboldt programs. As seen in Figure 25, this percentage has been fairly consistent for the past four years.
Playgroup survey results related to parenting capacity and connection
Parents/caregivers continue to find playgroups a place where they can learn new things about parenting. As seen in Figure 26, mean scores on the Playgroup Survey have remained fairly stable over the past eleven years, although there was a drop in the 2015 scores. As mentioned earlier in this report, after looking at possible factors in this drop, it was discovered that the administration of the survey coincided with a change in staff at the majority of playgroups.

 

Scoring: 1= strongly disagree, 2= disagree, 3= neither agree nor disagree, 4=agree, 5= strongly agree

 

According to the 2015 Playgroup Survey, 85.6% of playgroup parents/caregivers strongly agreed or agreed that they “have learned more about play activities they can do with their children.” This is down from 91.7% in 2014. See Figure 27 for more detail about the 2015 survey results.

 

76.8% of parents/caregivers responding to the 2015 Playgroup Survey agreed or strongly agreed that “since we started coming to playgroup, my child and I engage in play together more often.” This is down from 2014 when 84.7% of parents/caregivers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

85.7% of 2015 Playgroup Survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that because of playgroup, they have learned new things about their child’s strengths and/or needs, down from close to 92% in 2014.

Further analysis of the 2015 Playgroup Survey data, using Spearman's Rank Order correlation test(1), was completed to determine the relationship between amount of family playgroup attendance and level of agreement with the statement “Playgroup is a place where I have learned new things about my child’s strengths and/or needs.” There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the two variables (rs (216) = .153, p < .05), meaning an increase in family playgroup attendance was correlated to an increase in agreement with the statement.


Provider voices about playgroup:

  • The strength of our Play Center program was one of the programs that gained us recognition by the First Lady of the United States through our participation in the Let's Move! Initiative
  • Parents have commented that [meeting and getting to know other parents] is one of the most important resources they have received
  • Parents take leading roles in facilitating circle time and other activities and all of our facilitators have grown into the leadership position as participants first
  • With our community being so spread out, it is highly valuable to offer playgroup as a place for mother of infants and young children to gather

A majority of parents/caregivers responding to the 2015 Playgroup Survey agreed or strongly agreed that playgroup is a place they “have learned more about what skills/behaviors are appropriate for my child’s age.” See Figure 29 for more details.

 

Additionally, when asked if they are doing anything differently as a family because of participating in playgroup, 31.5% of 2015 Playgroup Survey respondents replied “yes.” 65.8% responded “no” and the remaining 2.7% did not respond.

Parent voices

What are you doing differently as a family because of your participation in playgroup?

  • I practice more emotional coaching with my children because of what I have learned in the parenting classes here at Tiny Tots playgroup (with Meg/Omi and Beth)
  • We started doing more arts and crafts at home after seeing how much John enjoys them. I've learned new songs and activities for home. I can give my husband great stories and ideas from our time at playgroup
  • Better routine. Getting up for playgroup means easier bedtime and evening routine
  • Parenting strategy, bedtime, certain meals, meal ideas
  • It's hard to quantify, but playgroup makes it easier to be a stay-at-home mommy, so easier also on my husband and better for our family.
  • Parenting! I learn new things all the time about how to adapt to my child's changes.
  • I am more relaxed as a parent. We also do a lot more art.
  • Learning and growing as a mother
  • More singing and clapping and imagination games. Making up stories with stuffed animals.

Playgroup survey results related to social support for parents of children needing assistance in reaching developmental potentials

As discussed earlier on page 26, parents of children with special needs report feeling that the First 5 Humboldt playgroups have provided them with a place where they feel supported.

The Children and Family Mental Health Inclusion Specialist (CFMHIS) and the Children and Family Support Specialist (CFSS) results related to social support for parents of children needing assistance in reaching developmental potentials

First 5 Humboldt provides funding to the Humboldt County Office of Education for two Specialists to provide support to families in First 5 Humboldt funded playgroups with an emphasis on working with children needing assistance in reaching their developmental potential. The CFMHIS and the CFSS assist parents and children with special needs transitioning into playgroups, provide resource and referral assistance, and answer questions parents/caregivers have about their child’s development and behavior. This work began in late 2008 in three playgroups and currently serves eight locations directly: Arcata Playcenter, McKinleyville Playcenter, Rio Dell Playgroup, Blue Lake Playgroup, Arcata Tiny Tots Playgroup, Discovery Museum Playgroup, Willow Creek Playgroup, and the Eureka FUN Playcenter. Additionally, information and guidance is also provided to leaders of all First 5 Humboldt playgroups to enhance their interactions with parents of children with special needs. Both Specialists also serve as resources to all parents at the playgroups and programs visited on topics such as child development, behavior, and school readiness.

Between January and December 2015, the Specialists made over 220 visits to playgroups and other PFS programs plus provided assistance on atypical development over 70 times to families.

In late 2015, the CFSS held Infant Massage classes for ten parents and their infants. The parents overwhelmingly felt that the classes had helped them as parents and improved their relationship with their infant. The class evaluations showed 4.9-5.0 ratings for all items, where a rating of 1=need to improve and a rating of 5=excellent.

Parent Voices: Infant Massage Classes

  • Baby [is] calmer. [We] are able to read baby cues better
  • I feel more calm around [baby]
  • I feel closer and more in tune with [baby]
  • I feel more positive toward [baby]
  • Every parent should have this experience! Thank you!

211 Humboldt results related to parent support hot lines/warm lines

During the period January-December 2015 assistance was provided to 3,012 parents/caregivers of children 0-5. Of these, 160 callers were pregnant. 62 callers were Spanish-speaking. Information provided during these calls included assistance in locating resources for housing needs, playgroups, parenting classes, resources for food, financial needs, programs for families, transportation, and child-related activities.

Child abuse/neglect data for Humboldt County

According to kidsdata.org, “Child abuse and neglect indicators are broken into two broad categories: the rate of child abuse and neglect reports and the rate of substantiated cases. Generally speaking, most reports of child abuse are not in the end substantiated by Child Protective Services (CPS) after an investigation.” Table 3 shows child abuse/neglect data for children ages 0-5 in Humboldt County from 2007-2013(2), the latest data available from that site. Research data has found that children reported to CPS have a significantly heightened risk for both intentional and unintentional injury death. In addition, after adjusting for other risk factors, this data showed that a prior allegation of child abuse was the single strongest predictor of intentional injury death.(3) In a study of children born in Humboldt County in 2006 and 2007, 22.3% were reported to CPS for alleged child abuse and neglect. This figure was nearly 50% higher than that of California’s report rate of 14.8%.(4)

Humboldt County Child Maltreatment Allegation & Substantiation Rates 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Allegations (ages 0-5): Incidence per 1,000 Children 107.3 97.8 94.9 99.4 103.4 95.8 104.9 100.1
Substantiations (ages 0-5): Incidence per 1,000 Children 18.9 20.0 13.4 10.4 15.3 13.2 15.2 16.2
Entries (ages 0-5): Incidence per 1,000 Children 6.2 6.6 5.6 6.6 9.5 10.0 10.4 10.9

Table 3

The programs and activities funded by First 5 Humboldt are part of the many programs and activities provided by a number of different agencies, organizations, and groups throughout Humboldt County that focus on reducing child abuse and neglect through strengthening families and communities.

Literacy skills indicators:

  • Frequency with which parents/caregivers read to/with children
  • Frequency with which parents/caregivers play music/sing songs with their 0-5 age children
  • # of hours of daily screen time for children

Synopsis of results related to literacy indicators: According to the 2015 Participant Survey 75.5% of parents reported reading to their child daily which was also true in 2014. The frequency of music related activities decreased slightly in 2015. The amount of “screen time” by children ages 0-2 has decreased for the second year in a row and for ages 3-5 decreased from 2014.

First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey results related to reading and music

75.5% of survey respondents stated they read to their children daily. After a decline in 2012 and 2013, the increase in daily reading has remained the same for 2014 and 2015. Per the California Health Interview Survey (data was pooled for 2012-2014 in order to have statistically stable data), in Humboldt County 69.4% of parents with children ages 0-5 report reading to their child daily and for California, 61.7% of parents with children ages 0-5 reported reading with their child daily.

 

 

Further analysis of the 2015 First Five Humboldt Participant Survey data, using Spearman's Rank Order correlation test, was completed to determine the relationship between the amount of family playgroup participation and how many days a parent or any other family member read stories or looked at picture books with her/his child. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the two variables (rs (411) = .512, p < .01), meaning an increase in family playgroup participation was correlated to an increase in the number of days a parent or any other family member read stories or looked at picture books with her/his child. This result has been consistent since 2011.

 

In 2015, 69.5% of parents/caregivers reported playing music or singing songs daily their child. Although this figure is a slight decrease from the 2014 result of 70.6%, it is still higher than the results for years 2007-2013 which ranged from 55.2% - 68.1%. Per the 2011-13 California Health Interview Survey (data was pooled for a three year period in order to have statistically stable data) the percentage of parents playing music or singing songs to their 0-5 children daily in Humboldt County was 72.6% and for California was 66.7%.

 

Further analysis of the 2015 First Five Humboldt Participant Survey data, using Spearman's Rank Order correlation test, was completed to determine the relationship between amount of family playgroup participation and how many days a parent or any other family member played music or sang songs with her child. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the two variables (rs (411) = .399, p < .01), meaning an increase in family playgroup participation was correlated to an increase in the number of days a parent or any other family member played music or sang songs with her child.


Playgroup Attendance was significantly positively correlated wtih number of days caregiver sang songs with child.
(rs (411) = .399, p < .01)

Figure 32

Results related to television watching by 0-5 age children

In 2015, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy statement addressing media use in children. This includes the following recommendations for parents:

  1. The AAP discourages media use by children younger than 2 years.
  2. The AAP realizes that media exposure is a reality for many families in today's society. If parents choose to engage their young children with electronic media, they should have concrete strategies to manage it. Ideally, parents should review the content of what their child is watching and watch the program with their child.
  3. Parents are discouraged from placing a television set in their child's bedroom.
  4. Parents need to realize that their own media use can have a negative effect on their children. Television that is intended for adults and is on with a young child in the room is distracting for both the parent and the child.
  5. Unstructured playtime is more valuable for the developing brain than any electronic media exposure. If a parent is not able to actively play with a child, that child should have solo playtime with an adult nearby. Even for infants as young as 4 months of age, solo play allows a child to think creatively, problem-solve, and accomplish tasks with minimal parent interaction. The parent can also learn something in the process of giving the child an opportunity to entertain himself or herself while remaining nearby.(5)

The 2015 First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey responses showed that the vast majority of children age two and under are putting in “screen time” daily, but the percentage in front of TV/other screens more than two hours each day decreased for the third year in a row from 21.1% in 2013 to 14.3% in 2014 to 10.4% in 2015 (Figure 33). 21.4% of 3-5 year olds put in more than two hours of daily screen time, down from 30.2% in 2014.

 

Action: Communities and neighborhoods are safe, stable and supportive

Indicators:

  • # Family Resource Centers (FRCs)
  • Public library materials per capita/spending on public libraries
  • Communities/neighborhoods foster social ties among residents
  • #/% of parents/caregivers reporting they are more connected to other parents in their community
  • #/% of families with children ages 0-5 that are below the poverty level

Synopsis of results related to safe, stable, and supportive communities indicators: There are eighteen FRCs in Humboldt County. First 5 Humboldt currently provides support to five of them. In 2013-2014, (the most current available data) library expenditures per person increased from the prior year in Humboldt County. The majority of participants in Parent and Family Support Programs report that they are more connected to other parents as a result of the services and activities they have received. The percent of families with children under age 5 living in poverty in Humboldt County was 9.1% and was 14.5% for California according to the latest available data.

Results related to the number of Family Resource Centers

First 5 Humboldt provides direct on-going support to five of the eighteen Family Resource Centers in Humboldt County: Blue Lake, McKinleyville, Mattole Valley, Southern Humboldt, and Willow Creek. These FRCs support children and families in their communities through services and activities such as parent education and support, health insurance information and enrollment assistance for families, home visits, early learning and socialization experiences for 0-5 age children, nutrition assistance and education, and resource and referral assistance.

Results related to public library materials per capita spending

According to the 2013-2014 California State Library Public Statistics Portal, per capita library expenditures for Humboldt County were $25.38 and were $28.96 (median)/$47.68 (mean) for California as a whole. The figures in 2012-13 were $22.38 for Humboldt County and $29.38 (median)/ $47.13 (mean) for California.(6)

 

First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey results related to fostering social ties and being more connected to other parents in their community

When asked if taking part in the services/activities offered by the program had resulted in being more connected to other parents in their community, 82.6% of the respondents answered “a lot more connected” or “somewhat more connected” which is slightly up from 81% in 2014. The mean response in 2015 was 3.47 with 4 being “a lot more connected” and 1 being “not really.” The mean response was up from 3.4 in 2014.

Playgroup Survey results related to fostering social ties

As seen in Table 4, results from playgroup surveys since 2005 show that parents/caregivers feel that playgroups provide a place where parents/caregivers support each other and 2015 results show that playgroups provide a place where parents/caregivers meet new friends.

The playgroup is a place…

Scoring: 1= strongly disagree, 2= disagree, 3= neither agree nor disagree, 4=agree, 5= strongly agree

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Parents support each other 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.5 4.7 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.4
I have met new friends NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 4.5 4.3

Table 4

Further analysis of the 2015 Playgroup Survey data, using Spearman's Rank Order correlation test, was completed to determine the relationship between amount of family playgroup attendance and level of agreement with the statement “Playgroup is a place where I have met new friends.” There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the two variables (rs (214) = .152, p < .05), meaning an increase in family playgroup attendance was correlated to an increase in agreement with the statement.

Attendance significantly positively correlated with the statement, "Playgroup is a place where I have met new friends."
( rs(214)=.152, p<.05)

Figure 35

Additionally, 59.3% of parents surveyed in 2015 stated they get together with other playgroup parents at times outside of playgroup at least once a month or more, down slightly from 60.5% in 2014. This figure was 57.9% in 2013 and 52.7% in 2012.

Families below poverty level. According to the 2014 American Community Survey, 19.3% of children under age 5 live in poverty in Humboldt County and 23.4% of children in California under age 5 live in poverty. In Humboldt County, 9.1% of families with children under 5 were in poverty compared to 14.5% in California.(7)

 

(1) The Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation test was selected since both of the variables were measured on an ordinal scale in which the rank order of the variable values matter. The differences between the values of ordinal variables are not the same. For example, the difference between the values “1-2 times/week” and “2-3 times per month” is not the same as the difference between “2-3 times per month” and “Once/month.” The Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation Coefficient value will be between -1 and +1. A positive coefficient value indicates that an increase in one variable is related to an increase in the other variable. A negative coefficient value indicates that an increase in one variable is related to a decrease in the other variable. A coefficient value close to 0 indicates that there is no relationship between the variables.
(2) Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Dawson, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Putnam-Hornstein, E., King, B., Rezvani, G., Wagstaff, K., Sandoval, A., Yee, H., Xiong, B, Benton, C., Hoerl, C., & Romero, R. (2016). CCWIP reports. Retrieved 2/15/2016, from University of California at Berkeley California Child Welfare Indicators Project website. URL: <http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare>
(3) Putnam-Hornstein, E. (2013). Population-based, Birth Cohort Studies of Child Deaths Before Age 5. Retrieved 3/7/16, from Children’s Data Network website. URL: < http://www.datanetwork.org/research/1007>
(4) Putnam-Hornstein, E., Mitchell, M., & Hammond, I. (2014). A Birth Cohort Study of Involvement with Child Protective Services before Age 5. Retrieved 3/7/16, from Children’s Data Network. URL: <https://s3.amazonaws.com/dvis-data/cdn/Cumulative+Risk+Reports/CDN_12_Humboldt+County.pdf>
(5) available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1040.full
(6) Available at https://ca.countingopinions.com/index.php?page_id=3
(7) Data sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, URL: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_DP03&prodType=table,%20accessed%202/16/15, accessed 2/15/16