Parenting: one of the greatest challenges a person can undertake. While it can be the greatest joy of your life, it can also be stressful and tiring, especially to new parents. When the military life style is added to the mix, parenting can be more than overwhelming.
The New Parent Support Program (NPSP) began providing services in February of 1995 and since then has become an Army institution.
As the title suggests, it is targeted toward new or first time parents, services are available to all parents from pregnancy through the time your child is 3 years old.
The program is designed to strengthen parent's knowledge and skills so that they can then provide environments where their children can thrive. The program also seeks to reduce stressors that can increase the risk of child abuse and neglect.
There are two levels of NPSP. The first level, NPSP Standard, offers parent education services. These services include educational programs, home visits, information, and referrals to other programs.
One of the services provided by NPSP is called Playmorning. Playmorning allows mom and dads and their children to come together for a few hours each week to play in a group setting. Activities include story time, crafts, and music. Playmorning gives children interaction with each other and brings parents together, combating the isolation that many feel. It is open to all military families with young children.
The second level is NPSP+. This program is more intensive and targeted to families at higher risk for child abuse. Periodic assessments, intensive parent monitoring and long-term home visitation are some of the services provided by NPSP+.
NPSP+ has social workers and nurses who do home visits and provide the various other services. Home visitors cover a wide range of topics with families, from potty training and discipline to feeding schedules and time management.
An important fact to note is that home visitors can work with your schedule so that visits are convenient for everyone. Since there are so many single parents and so many families where mom and dad work outside of their home, this service is essential.
NPSP services are provided at most installations.