Partners In Parenting Education (PIPE) and Evidence Based Research Programs

PIPE is a research informed curriculum. It is based on the theoretical work of numerous researchers.  Some of those researchers are; Mary Ainsworth, Liz Bates, T. Berry Brazelton, Stella Chess, Robert Emde, Tiffany Field, Stanley Greenspan, Robert Harmon, George Morgan, Louis Sanders, C.E. Snow, Rene Spitz, Allan Sroufe and Edward Tronic.

Highly successful programs have several components that contribute to their results. The PIPE curriculum is used in many evidence-based programs/models that have produced positive, sustainable outcomes through one or more rigorous trials. Here is a list of some of the evidence-based programs that have integrated PIPE into their work with families:

  • Family Nurse Programs in England
  • Family Nurse Programs in Scotland
  • Nurse Family Partnership Programs in Australia
  • Nurse Family Partnership Programs in Canada
  • Nurse Family Partnership Programs in the USA
  • Healthy Families sites in Indiana
  • Healthy Families sites in Illinois
  • Healthy Families sites in Minnesota
  • Early Head Start sites in Colorado,
  • Early Head Start sites in Connecticut,
  • Early Head Start sites in Arizona,
  • Early Head Start sites in Kansas
  • Early Head Start sites in Utah
  • Early Head Start sites in California
  • Early Start in New Zealand

Here is what they are saying about PIPE:

San Diego County, California Linda Lake stated “PIPE was chosen for our Maternal Child Health nurses because it is an evidence-based model and our Nurse Family Partnership staff cited positive experiences when using the curriculum. Public Health Nurses (PHNs) find that clients are more willing to open up about what is going on in their lives during a PIPE activity. Barriers come down and clients have shared experiences that can be very emotional. PHNs also find it rewarding to help parents bond more closely with their infants and children due to what they have learned during PIPE activities. PIPE allows the PHNs to be creative and to have fun with their clients during a home visit. This facilitates building a strong relationship between the PHN and client which can lead to better outcomes overall.”
Linda Lake
Public Health Nurse Supervisor / Oceanside, CA
Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, Ontario Canada Riffaat Mamdani related that Ontario incorporated the PIPE curriculum into the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program as a component of the blended home visiting aspect of programming because:
  • When concerns in the parent-child relationship have been identified PIPE is a method of introducing concepts and building skills that directly affect the identified concerns.
  • The PIPE activities allow for respect of cultural differences and traditions that can be worked into the individual family lesson plans.
  • PIPE uses foundational theories from child development, attachment, cognitive and emotional development.
  • PIPE is evidence-based (Butterfield, 1991-1992; Moss & Gotts, 1998; and Robinson, 2004)
Riffaat Mamdani
Program Consultant / Child and Youth Development Branch Ministry of Children and Youth Services Ontario Canada
Arizona Family Resource Centers Debbie Curley shared that they chose PIPE because they were looking for a class that would appeal to families with small children that would involve the parents in the class. When they were researching curricula, they really liked PIPE for several reasons:
    • It was affordable
    • Being trained was a simple process
    • The presentation of the curriculum was easy for us to place into lesson plans
    • The activities are fun and varied – allowing for parent reflection as well as skill building
    • Materials were provided in English and Spanish.
“We have really built a lot upon the principles of parent child interaction. We use the KIPS (Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale) to provide feedback to parents during the course of the class on their interaction with their children using the criteria from that scale such as language development, responsivity, physical interaction, promoting curiosity and expanding play. KIPS is linked to PIPE through a ‘crosswalk’ so that we can actually refer families directly back to PIPE lessons for them to strengthen their skills. We are incorporating a parent child interaction component into all of our classes. Our class is offered as a ten week 20-class series. Parents tell us that they feel less stressed at the end of the class and that they have a lot more perspective on their parenting. When asked which class is their favorite, they often cite the emotional refueling class.”
Debbie Curley
Family Resource Center Program Director / University of Arizona Cooperative Extension-Santa Cruz County Nogales, AZ
Minnesota’s Department of Health Minnesota’s Department of Health Family Home Visiting team members shared that MN decided to offer PIPE Training state wide because:
  • PIPE is one of the curricula that is accepted for Healthy Families America (HFA)
  • PIPE is the curriculum used by sites replicating the Nurse- Family Partnership (NFP) evidence based model
  • The PIPE Curriculum and instructional model focus on the development of healthy parent-child relationships and interactions. It is anticipated that these healthy parent-child relationships and interactions will be reflected in the outcomes identified in the MDH MIECHV Benchmark Evaluation Plan. These outcomes include constructs that assess parenting behaviors and parent child relationships,-e.g. discipline strategies, play interactions.
Terri McNeil, M.Ed
Training Coordinator / Family Home Visiting Unit Maternal & Child Health Section Community & Family Health Division Minnesota Department of Health
Glynis Matehaere related how since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake she has used PIPE in her work with parents and children that had been traumatised by earthquakes, displaced from homes, work, schools and preschools. Continuing to deliver PIPE consistently throughout this upheaval and transitioning time enabled her to help parents keep in touch with their fundamental relationship with their children. We had families separated due to no home, living in cars, tents, camping grounds, cold non-insulated garages, overcrowded friend’s lounges, sleepouts, etc. Having parents and children interacting in the PIPE sessions at each home visit was key to helping families remember the fun, love and unity they do share even in times of extreme stress and separation. PIPE is transportable, it can be delivered in multiple environments and even in times of crisis. It is also important to acknowledge that the PIPE educators found having a fun session to deliver during these times a relief.
Glynis Matehaere
Support / Early Start Project Ltd Chirstchurch, New Zealand
Early Start (ES), New Zealand Michelle Fletcher related that “PIPE provides us with a fun, practical learning process, which combined with other Early Start ‘core work’ and family focused interventions enables ES to meet our parenting goals and child health goals in varying ways; the PIPE topics help families learn experientially about emotional development; through PIPE’s relationship based process the development of family structure, routine, consistency and predictability are also strengthened. PIPE enables the Family Support Worker to facilitate the growth of a solid foundation of learning that strengthens parenting. ES works with families up to 5 years; the core attitudes, skills and knowledge learnt in the first 3 years underpins and lays the foundation for the ongoing scaffolding of learning. We can tailor to the individual need of each family.”
Michelle Fletcher
Clinical Supervisor / Early Start Project Ltd Chirstchurch, New Zealand
Lisa Cart stated: PIPE meets the HFA requirement of a “primary evidence-informed curriculum for use with all families that promotes nurturing parent-child relationships, healthy child development, and builds positive parenting skills. PIPE meets Healthy Families America Best Practice standards because it also is“a curriculum that can be used in conjunction with teachable moments, parental interest, and shared with parents using a strength-based approach building on parental capacity”. PIPE also meets Healthy Families Indiana’s policy requirements because the curriculum is “representative of the target population, culturally sensitive, and appropriate to the needs of all families being served”. “Staff love to use PIPE as the information is very helpful to parents and includes a demonstration of “what good looks like” and fun activities that give parent and child an opportunity to “practice” while the home visitor is available to coach and mentor. Also, PIPE can be adapted to different ages of the child, but the concepts are the same, which makes home visit planning easier.”
Lisa Cart
Program Manager / Healthy Families of Grant County Marion, IN
Healthy Families Indiana Susan Crawley shared that PIPE helps her program meet these goals:
  • Assess the strengths and concerns of families and link to resources
  • Assist families as needed in meeting challenges
  • Promote positive parent/child interaction
  • Promote healthy child growth and development
“I feel like PIPE is the only curriculum that we use that lets us get to know the parent, it is how they were parented and what they believe themselves. When you find this out then you find the parents strength plus things that interest them, making links easier. I am always amazed and delighted in how much parent involvement I get with a PIPE lesson and how the parent will often comment; no one has ever asked me that before.”
Susan Crawley
Supervisor / Healthy Families of Area Five Logansport, Indiana
Family Nurse Partnership Ann Rowe conveyed “We have been using the PIPE curriculum as an integrated element of the Family Nurse Partnership (NFP) programme in our test sites in England. We have found that the interactive materials and processes of PIPE support nurses to explore and model the complex area of emotionally available caregiving with FNP clients.”
Ann Rowe
Implementation Lead / Family Nurse Partnership Programme Child Health Promotion Programme England
Nurse Family Partnership Pilar Baca related that “We selected PIPE as the parenting curriculum for our program for high-risk families because of its unique, interactive approach to promoting empathic, responsive care giving…” “…Because the PIPE Curriculum’s development was informed by the work of the most important attachment and emotional development researchers of our time, we knew we could count on it to enhance our program outcomes.”
Pilar Baca, M.S., R.N.
Clinical Director for Program Improvement Research / Nurse-Family Partnership
Dawn McQuade stated that one of their program goals is to increase emotional availability for parents, to strengthen the attachment/bond between the parent and their child. “We have current data which show that we are having a direct impact on family functioning from using the curriculum along with “Circle of Security”. This type of model (PIPE and Circle of Security) has proven to be the most effective prevention for our families, given their numerous risk factors and trauma related experiences. We have seen our parents and children make positive strong emotional connections at our groups in using PIPE”.
Dawn McQuade
EASTCONN Early Head Start Program Coordinator / Dayville, CT
Early Head Start Laura Jensen shared the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework is focused on promoting family engagement and school readiness from prenatal through school. One of the family outcomes is promoting families as lifelong educators. “The PIPE curriculum helps teachers truly partner with families to help them become active supporters of their children’s learning, by offering activities to help parents gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be lifelong educators. PIPE home visits focus on the parent-child relationship and having the parent practice activities with home visitor guidance. PIPE works for our program because it develops positive, goal oriented relationships with parents as their child’s first teacher.”
Laura Jensen
Education Coordinator / Child Development Programs
El Dorado County, CA