API’s solution to help children grow up with sense of self, purpose, and belonging is to empower parents through high-quality support networks that provide evidenced-informed information, encouragement in their parenting journey, and positive parenting practices known to foster early secure attachment--all implemented through a 22-year-old proven sustainable grassroots, cost-effective, peer-to-peer modeling strategy.
In API’s design, self-identified community change agents/volunteers are trained and accredited to lead local parent support groups of the peers. The accreditation process consists of applying for leadership, providing recommendations from peers, reading relevant science-informed materials, corresponding with a director of leader applicants, demonstrating a basic knowledge and understanding of attachment theory, some experience with attachment-focused parenting, group facilitation skills, and the ability to make referrals to local professionals when needed. API’s innovation of The Four P's of Innate Needs: Proximity, Protection, Predictability and Play along with the Eight Principles of Parenting have guided parents since its inception: 1) Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting, 2) feed with love and respect, 3) Respond with sensitivity, 4) Ensure safe sleep, 5) Use nurturing touch, 6) Provide consistent, loving care, 7) Practice positive discipline, and 8) Strive for balance in family life. All of the principles are designed to foster empathy, trust, joy, and affection within the family.
As part of their community, support group leaders provide free face-to-face support groups and make long-term investments to institutionalize support and resources in their community. Groups meet monthly or more often for support, activities, outreach and to grow together as a supportive tribe or community.
API continues to provide support and resources to every group and every group leader. API also encourages and provides continuing education to the accredited leaders. API recognizes that leaders themselves need support so programs such as periodic conference calls, an online forum, a listserve or one-on-one support provide avenues for supporting the leaders. This approach values the importance of local, in person support in a world of online communication, however online communication is used as reinforcement and a motivator to participate in local communities.
API’s model is cost effective and poised to saturate communities because of the benefits of technology, highly skilled volunteers, and strong knowledge and commitment by local Leaders to foster a new parenting mindset. API’s model is long-term, focused on prevention and generational change toward greater peace and compassion. Children grow to be their healthiest when they're enveloped in loving, predictable, securely attached relationships with their parents and caregivers as well as trusted adults in their communities. API is leading an effort to provide all parents, caregivers and professionals the information and support necessary to perpetuate a positive ripple effect into communities, through society and ultimately, around the world.