Family Care Curriculum

The Family Care Curriculum (FCC) is a train-the-trainer model parenting program. The program's goal is to train professionals and clinicians to help parents become more receptive, sensitive and responsive to their children’s developmental, emotional, and cultural needs — even in the midst of experiencing homelessness or other stressors.

FCC combines the best practices of attachment and trauma theory with the principles and self-care of Effective Black Parenting, the country's first culturally-adapted, skill-building program for parents of African-American children. Karen Hudson, PhD, MSW, LSW, program leader of the Homeless Health Initiative, and Sandy Sheller, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, clinical director of independent projects for the Salvation Army, created FCC for lay professionals, social workers, case managers and clinicians.

Rationale and goals

Families experiencing homelessness and those living in poverty may experience barriers that can compromise parenting capacities. Families led by young single mothers comprise the largest and fastest growing segment of the homeless population. And the ethnic disparity within the group is striking; approximately 42 percent are African American, although African Americans make up just 12 percent of the adult population in the United States.

FCC desires to empower these parents to become the best caretakers for their children. In the present economic climate, it is imperative that we use the resources and manpower that are available and already in place in homeless shelters to work toward healing within this population. Training shelter staff builds on a shelters' capability to provide support.

Details about the FCC program

FCC is a six-week curriculum, which is generally doable in homeless shelter sites. The first three weeks are workshops based on topics selected by parent participants.

Each trainer receives a manual with all the FCC materials needed to help them facilitate parent groups. Follow-up technical support for the trainers is included. The purpose of the training is to help break the cycle of abuse and neglect. The program uses the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) pre- and post-test to measure the five top parental attitudes most likely to lead to abuse and neglect.

To date, results of FCC have been positive and more facilities are adopting the curriculum.


  • Week One: Creating the Framework — Attachment Theory
  • Week Two: Child Development
  • Week Three: Lessons from the Past
  • Week Four: Join the Club — We all have Ghosts from the Past
  • Week Five: Paradigm Shift — Learning New Skills
  • Week Six: Celebrating Next Steps
  • Workshops: Parents choose the topics