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Project expands to examine family and community health

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

A long-standing parenting education project in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research has changed its name to reflect a broader focus on healthy families and communities.

The Parenting in Context project changed its name to The Parenting Project: Healthy Children, Families, & Communities.

Portrait of Kim Kopko

Kim Kopko

“We are putting a broader focus on healthy families and communities in parent education, and health beyond a clinical standpoint,” said Kim Kopko, director of the project and a senior extension associate at the BCTR. “Thinking about healthy communication and healthy ways of disciplining children has potential impacts not only in families, but also for children’s relationships with their peers and their behavior in school.”

The project is focused on providing evidence-based resources for parent educators working in New York State.  The initiative also provides professional development training for parent educators in the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) system and tools to evaluate parenting programs and conduct community assessments to help counties identify and assess parenting education needs.

Since the program started more than a decade ago, it has expanded its reach to focus on the emotional and social health on the entire family, Kopko said.

Project leaders consulted with parent educations across New York State regarding the name change and to ensure the name reflected their work in communities, she said.

“Our goal has always been to partner with educators who are working directly with families in communities,” she said.

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Parenting in Context Annual In-Service Conference

Jan. 25-26, 2012, BCTR's Parenting in Context project sponsored the annual Parent Education In-Service.  Presenters included Jennifer Tiffany, Janis Whitlock, Maria Fitzpatrick, Rachel Dunifon, and Kimberly Kopko and nearly 50 parent educators from across NY state attended.

Presentations provided information on translational research and gave updates on the Parenting In Context project, but also highlighted the successful CCE programs PS: It Works! Communication Skills for Peers-Parent-Partners and Child Neglect and Maltreatment, Shaken Baby Syndrome, among other topics. The conference was an opportunity for researchers to provide some current findings and for educators to communicate their knowledge from the field back to the researchers.

Read the Cornell Chronicle article on the conference here.

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