Who We Are

PFR is an evidence-based training program, part of the University of Washington’s Parent-Child Relationship Programs at the Barnard Center.

Our program is dedicated to promoting children’s social-emotional development through responsive, nurturing caregiver-child relationships.

We train providers in our Home Visiting, Child Care and Pediatric clinic based models, where they learn practical, in-depth, effective strategies for promoting secure and healthy relationships between caregivers and young children (birth to 5 years).

Why PFR Training?

There is substantial evidence that the foundation of emotional organization, attention regulation, and communicative skill emerges from early, positive interactions with caregivers.

Each child is born totally dependent on the relationships they develop with their first relationships – their parents and caregivers.  These relationships provide the foundation for young children’s growth and development in social, emotional, behavioral, language and cognitive domains.

Features of the training program include:

  • Video recording of caregiver-child interactions to provide insight into real-life situations.
  • How to give positive feedback that builds caregivers’ confidence and competence in their parenting.
  • How to focus on the deeper emotional feelings and needs that underlie caregiver’s and children’s distress and behaviors.
  • How to promote a wondering stance in parents and caregivers through reflection and mindfulness.

A young child’s positive sense of self and of others can only be developed in the context of relationships. Our social and emotional development, or mental health, begins from the first day of life.  And future growth and experiences are based on what a young child internalizes about themselves and others.

“Children grow and thrive in the context of close and dependable relationships that provide love and nurturance, security, responsive interaction, and encouragement for exploration.”
(From Neurons to Neighborhoods, 2000).

In order to grow in social-emotional, language, and cognitive domains, young children need sensitive and secure relationships with the adults who are most important to them.

By training providers to support parents and caregivers to be loving, responsive and tuned in to their children’s feelings and needs, we can achieve the desired goals: secure children who engage in trusting and caring relationships with others and are free to explore and learn about the world around them.

Diversity-Informed Tenets For Work With Infants, Children & Families

Promoting First Relationships endorses “The Tenets” — a set of guiding principles and practices that strengthen the commitment and capacity of professionals, organizations and systems to embed diversity, inclusion and equity principles into their work with infants, children and families.

The Tenets help programs, organizations and systems of care benchmark their progress in embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of individual and organizational practices and policies. They help launch the beginning of an ongoing, always-evolving conversation, about creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable organization.