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Parent Education in an Urban Neighborhood: An Evaluation of the McKinley Family Center for Child Development

The McKinley Family Center for Child Development, located in a poor multicultural urban neighborhood, is one of several programs in the Philadelphia School District designed to help parents be their child’s first teacher. This report was prepared in September 1993 as a formative evaluation of the Center, which seeks to enhance parenting skills and confidence along with knowledge of and access to community resources among enrolled parents. The authors found that the parent educators who work in this program encounter a diversity of family situations ranging from easy to difficult to serve. Two families, one form each end of this spectrum, are described in detail and their interactions with other qualitative and quantitative data, the report discusses how the Center had dealt with three major areas of implementation: establishing a client base, creating networks of support, and building organizational structures and processes. The authors then explain how the Center currently benefits parents and offer recommendations to help the Center expand their services for the community.