Family Spirit Program

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Family Spirit is a culturally tailored home visiting program developed in partnership with American Indian communities to support young parents (I2-22 years old) and promote healthy development of their children.

Key Features of Family Spirit

  • Structured curriculum taught by health educators to young mothers from pregnancy to 36 months postpartum
  • Developed with Native communities for Native communities
  • Recognized as evidence-based intervention and best practice by the U. S. & is under consideration in Canada
  • Design to be inclusive of all family members

Target Setting: Home

  • Overcomes transportation barriers
  • Taps into family as the nexus of strength
  • Can include others who are involved in child-rearing: fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other siblings

Curriculum Topics

  • Goal-setting
  • Strengths of Native culture/traditions in child-rearing
  • Prenatal care
  • Infant care
  • Parenting skills
  • Substance use prevention
  • Child development
  • Maternal life skills

Outcomes for Participants


  • Increased maternal knowledge
  • Increased parent self-efficacy
  • Reduced parent stress
  • Improved home safety attitudes


  • Decreased maternal depression
  • Decreased substance abuse
  • Fewer behavior problems in mothers


  • Fewer behavior problems in children through age 3
  • Predicts lower risk of substance abuse and behavior problems thru lifetime
  • Family Spirit Findings


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