Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is ready to serve families in Greenville County through Greenville First Steps with funding and support from Children’s Trust and The Duke Endowment.

Triple P practitioners in Greenville

Nicole Sheppard of Greenville First Steps (second from left) gathers with newly-trained Triple P practitioners as part of the accreditation process.

The beginning of Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) service delivery is underway in Greenville County.

Greenville First Steps, the activating organization funded by Children’s Trust and The Duke Endowment, held its first round of pre-accreditation and accreditation for Triple P practitioners at the end of January. There were 17 practitioners from five Greenville organizations – Greenville County School District, Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, Just Say Something, Julie Valentine Center, and Share Head Start – at this first cohort of training. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them build strong and healthy relationships, confidently manage their children’s behavior, and prevent problems from developing.

Greenville First Steps is currently in the planning and infrastructure phase working alongside community partners, funders and evaluators. As part of a community public health approach, Greenville First Steps will partner with organizations that work with parents at a variety of levels to ensure all parents have access to the supports they need and want.

Virginia Bikas

Virginia Bikas

Virginia Bikas, the Triple P community capacity coach in Greenville for Children’s Trust, saluted the work being done by the local organization to get the program going.

“Greenville First Steps has done a great job ensuring that practitioners and service organizations cover a wide variety of agencies and sectors,” Bikas said. “To date there have been 20 practitioners (including three from Spartanburg) who have gone through accreditation with another 40 to follow in the coming month. The hope is with Triple P practitioners embedded in various service-delivery organizations throughout the county, there will be an increase in parents seeking parenting supports, and over time there will be a drop in numbers of child maltreatment.”

With more than 35 years of ongoing research, Triple P is an effective, evidence-based parenting program. It offers simple, practical strategies to help parents build strong, healthy relationships, confidently manage their children’s behavior, and promote positive childhood development. Triple P has been shown to work across cultures, socioeconomic groups and in many kinds of family structures.

Nicole Sheppard, Greenville First Steps program director for the Triple P project, spoke to the partnerships being developed with organizations in the county, including the school system’s counselors and social workers.

“We’ve hit the ground running in Greenville. It has been an exciting time,” Sheppard said. “This is so near and dear to my heart. We want to strengthen the health of children and families in Greenville by supplying parents with the tools they need.”

Becoming an accredited Triple P practitioner with Triple P SC is a three-step process – training, pre-accreditation, and accreditation. Six to eight weeks after a Triple P training, a participant will attend pre-accreditation with other peers in their cohort of 20. Facilitated by a Triple P trainer, pre-accreditation gives participants an opportunity to practice their newly-learned skills and knowledge, receive coaching and peer support, and gain a better understanding of what to expect going into accreditation day. Formal accreditation follows by two weeks.

This innovative work, which is being launched in Greenville and Georgetown counties, is building a model prevention system for counties that can be replicated across South Carolina to reinforce positive parenting and change the state’s approach to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

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