2022 Edition

Child and Family Development and Support Services (CA-CFD) 6: Parent Education Services

Educational and skill-building activities empower parents, promote positive child development, and improve adult functioning.

NA The organization does not provide parent education services.




  Child and Family Development and Support Services promote positive parenting; support children's health and safety; strengthen parent-child relationships; improve family functioning and self-sufficiency; and enhance parental health, well-being, and life course development.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of educational curricula
  • Educational curricula and materials
  • Parent education group schedule for the previous 12 months, if applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe sites, as appropriate


CA-CFD 6.01

Parents are helped to build skills in areas that include the following, as appropriate to the ages and developmental levels of their children and the goals of the program:

  1. understanding child/youth development, including what is appropriate at different ages and stages;
  2. parenting in a sensitive and responsive manner designed to promote positive interactions, relationships, and bonding;
  3. supporting and protecting their children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and/or social development and functioning; and 
  4. implementing appropriate techniques for providing supervision, setting limits, and managing behaviour, including challenging behaviours.


When a program is designed to serve expectant parents and/or parents with very young children, the topics addressed should include: 

  1. appropriate caregiving, including the physical care of the child, feeding and nutrition, and obtaining preventative healthcare;
  2. environmental safety and injury prevention, childproofing, child supervision, and safe practices for sleeping and bathing; and
  3. recognizing and responding to symptoms of illness and injury.


CA-CFD 6.02

Expectant parents are educated about the following prenatal health topics:

  1. fetal growth and development;
  2. the importance of prenatal care;
  3. nutrition and proper weight gain;
  4. appropriate exercise;
  5. medication use during pregnancy;
  6. effects of tobacco and substance use on fetal development;
  7. prenatal and postpartum depression;
  8. warning signs of possible pregnancy complications, and when to call the doctor;
  9. what to expect during labour and delivery, and after childbirth; and
  10. benefits of breastfeeding.


Some of these topics may be addressed by qualified medical personnel in the context of the prenatal health care referenced in CA-CFD 8.03.

NA The organization does not serve expectant parents.


CA-CFD 6.03

Parent education services promote self-sufficiency and self-efficacy by addressing topics related to positive personal functioning and development, as appropriate to the needs of the service population and the goals of the program.

Examples: Relevant topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  1. problem solving and conflict management;
  2. stress management and self-care; 
  3. managing and coping with anger and other emotions; 
  4. time, budget, and household management; 
  5. healthy and effective communication; 
  6. interpersonal relationships and supportive networks; 
  7. life transitions, including integrating parenthood with other responsibilities and aspects of life; 
  8. personal growth and future aspirations; and 
  9. accessing and utilizing needed services and resources.

Some programs may tailor the way content is covered to target the needs of a specific population. For example, a program serving expectant parents may focus on changes to expect when the baby arrives, including how the baby’s arrival may impact the parents’ other relationships and responsibilities associated with school or work. Similarly, a program serving individuals recovering from substance use disorders may focus on preventing and coping with relapse.


CA-CFD 6.04

Parent education services:

  1. include instruction and discussion about the topics and practices being addressed, and why they are important;
  2. model the practices and skills being targeted;
  3. include opportunities for practice;
  4. provide coaching, positive reinforcement, and corrective feedback, as needed;
  5. help parents personalize and generalize the information they are taught; and
  6. are provided in a safe environment that does not punish mistakes.

Examples: Opportunities for practice may include, but are not limited to: 

  1. role play with personnel; 
  2. practice in the family’s natural environment; 
  3. within-session practice with the child; and 
  4. homework assignments. 

When a program provides services in a group setting and does not include opportunities for live practice with the child, it may be helpful if personnel put increased effort into helping parents personalize and generalize the information they are taught.


CA-CFD 6.05

When parent education is provided in a group setting, participants have opportunities to:

  1. contribute by asking questions and sharing their experiences;
  2. listen to and learn from those who are similar to and different from themselves;
  3. build connections and develop positive relationships; and
  4. participate in activities of interest.
NA The organization does not provide parent education groups.


CA-CFD 6.06

When parent education is provided in a group setting, the organization:

  1. groups parents with others who have children of similar ages;
  2. provides classes in a welcoming environment;
  3. includes opportunities for participants to consult individually with personnel, as needed;
  4. responds flexibly to the changing needs of group members; and
  5. schedules services with participants’ time commitments in mind, to the extent possible and appropriate.
NA The organization does not provide parent education groups.