Effects of the Nurturing Parenting Program Nurturing Skills for Families on Child Safety and Permanency
Many child welfare agencies use the Nurturing Parenting Program Nurturing Skills for Families (NPP) program to strengthen parenting skills. NPP includes a flexible sequence of lessons that are tailored to meet each family's needs.
This study estimated the effects of NPP on child safety and permanency outcomes using a quasi-experimental design.
Participants and Setting
This study included 1102 children in Arizona whose families were referred to NPP between 2018 and 2020 (treatment group) and 6845 children in Arizona whose families were referred to other in-home family preservation services during the same period (comparison group).
Outcomes were based on child welfare administrative data. The study estimated (1) the effects of being referred to NPP (regardless of a family's level of participation) and (2) the effects of completing NPP. Baseline equivalence was established for each analysis. Impacts were calculated by comparing regression-adjusted differences between the study groups.
The study found no evidence of impacts of being referred to NPP. However, children whose families completed NPP were less likely to experience an investigation (ES = −0.28; p = 0.03) or substantiated investigation (ES = −0.66; p = 0.03) 4 months after the service referral, and less likely to experience a removal 16 months later (ES = −0.70; p = 0.00).
NPP had favorable effects on child welfare outcomes when families completed the program. Additional research is necessary to understand the supports that enable families to complete NPP and the specific components that are particularly effective.