Parent Mutual Self-Help Support Groups – Resolution

Parent mutual self-help support groups can have a positive impact on parenting and can promote positive parenting. Prevent Child Abuse America has taken a position on this issue.

A Resolution on Parent Mutual Self-Help Support Groups

Whereas, parent mutual self-help support groups provide a parent-led, confidential, and nonjudgmental setting for those in a parenting role to exchange ideas and support while discussing the challenges and successes of parenting.1

Whereas, parent mutual self-help support groups increase parenting knowledge, provide social support, and increase awareness of important community resources.

Whereas, parent mutual self-help support groups are an integral part in learning how to deal with stressful situations, provide alternatives to abusive discipline, and are an invaluable resource for empowerment.2

Whereas, studies indicate that involvement in parent mutual self-help support groups, such as Circle of Parents, helps those in a parenting role, over time, increase self-esteem, overcome isolation, and improve their parenting skills by exchanging support and positive parenting suggestions.3

Whereas, many parent mutual self-help support groups for parents, such as Circle of Parents, offer children’s programs that provide developmentally appropriate skill-building activities, as well as a safe environment for children while their parents attend meetings.

Therefore, be it resolved, that Prevent Child Abuse America supports:

Developing mutual self-help support groups for parents that are supported by state or regional networks, and further supported by a national network, such as Circle of Parents.

Basing mutual self-help support groups on a model that consists of the following key elements: groups are free, confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, and promote positive, non-abusive parenting and parent leadership.

Providing free children’s programs to complement every parent mutual self-help support group meetings, thereby allowing all parents the opportunity to attend.

Building public awareness of the benefits of self-help support groups for parents in preventing child abuse and neglect.

Increasing and enhancing research on the effect of parent mutual self-help support groups on child abuse and neglect, parenting skills, parent-child relationships, parent confidence, and parent involvement in the community.


  1. Summarized by Anne S. Robertson (1999). “Self-Help/Support Groups: What They Are, Benefits to Parents and Family, How to Join One, How to Start One.” Parent News March-April 1999.
  2. Focus Adolescent Services. (1999). Available online:
  3. Parents Helping Parents Lifelines, Fall 2001.

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