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Center on Human Development and Disability


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Barnard Center
for Infant
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Promoting First Relationships

Contact: Susan Spieker , 206-543-8453

Core Function: Technical Assistance and Outreach Training

Promoting First Relationships (PFR) is a training program at the Barnard Center on Infant Mental Health and Development at the University of Washington. We train service providers in the use of practical, in-depth, effective strategies for promoting secure and healthy relationships between caregivers and young children (birth to 3 years). Professionals who work with caregivers and young children often see the need to support and guide caregivers in building nurturing and responsive relationships with children. PFR gives professionals the knowledge, tools, and strategies to do so. Features of the training program include: videotaping caregiver-child interactions to provide insight into real-life situations; giving positive feedback that builds caregivers' competence with and commitment to their children; and focusing on the deeper emotional needs underlying children's challenging behaviors.

The Promoting First Relationships training program integrates theory, practice and intervention. Through this training, participants learn a unique consultation and intervention strategy that they can integrate into their work, whether in the high risk, special needs, child care, or other early childhood fields. The strategy can be used one-on-one with parents and also with child care providers and early childhood teachers responsible for group care. Because PFR is a positive, strengths-based model, caregivers are open to the intervention and gain competence, and thus investment, in their care giving.

More Information

Promoting First Relationships website

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •

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