The My Family Matters program uses the Nurturing Parenting curriculum at its core, a program which has been recommended as “… effective with families identified as at-risk for parenting problems and child maltreatment and families from diverse cultural backgrounds and living in urban, suburban, rural communities.”(Willis, S., & Bach, C. (n.d.). Parenting Education: Evidence-based Parenting Education Program Model Guide. First Things First.)
The Nurturing Parenting curriculum was also rated as a Promising Program in the Journal of Extension in August 2012 based on Use Readiness, Scientific Base and Evidence of Effectiveness.(Collins, C. L., & Fetsch, R. J. (n.d.). A Review and Critique of 16 Major Parent Education Programs. Retrieved May 11, 2016, from http://www.joe.org/joe/2012august/a8.php.)Finally, the program features a number of other elements that are critical to its success, including the provision of transportation to and from the sessions, a family-style meal catered by the Olive Garden, and local speakers supplementing the curriculum with additional expertise.
At its core, My Family Matters is a collaboration between Cecil County Public Schools, the Cecil County Department of Social Services, and the nonprofit lead agency Youth Empowerment Source.Additionally, the My Family Matters program draws on the expertise of local health, mental health, law enforcement and other providers to supplement the curriculum materials in discussing substance use, counseling, cyber safety, bullying, stress and anger, and many other topics.These professionals offer their presentations free of charge to participating families, providing much-needed referral information for families in need, and teaching them how to navigate the services available in Cecil County.