Does Parents Forever™ Work?
Parents Forever™ is a comprehensive educational program that has proven to be successful in supporting families going through divorce and separation.
Parents Forever™ is Research-Based
It builds upon research conducted by the University of Minnesota and other leading researchers. While it has been around for over 15 years, Parents Forever™ program materials have received frequent updates through the years to keep pace with the changing nature of today's families.
Parents Forever™ has been evaluated to ensure it meets program objectives. See related research articles:
- Impacts of Parents Forever on Parental Behavior and Adjustment During Divorce: A Short-Term Follow-Up Evaluation Study [Brotherson, S. E., Rittenbach, C. & White, J. M. (2012). Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 53(4), 267-291.
- Parents Forever™ : An Assessment of the Perceived Value of a Brief Divorce Education Program — Journal of Divorce & Remarriage
- Parents Forever™ : Evaluation of a Divorce Education Curriculum — Journal of Extension
- See the evaluation summary (36 K PDF)
Parents Forever™ Classes Are Led by Trained Professionals
University of Minnesota Extension educators have trained professionals throughout the state of Minnesota on how to teach and be successful with Parents Forever™. Parents can attend in-person classes knowing that their trainers are trained to help them and that they will be treated with respect.
Parents Forever™ is Parent Approved
Here are the types of feedback we regularly receive from program participants:
- “It's changed me! It's taken the focus more off of me and put it on ‘Where do my kids fall into play here?' It was good!”
- “I've eliminated any criticism of the other parent ... not making the children choose sides.”
- “It helped me be more aware of my child's needs and to pay more attention to his feelings.”
Parents Forever™ is Court Approved
Minnesota Statute 518.157 requires judges to court order parents with contested custody and visitation issues into an approved parent education program. Parents Forever™ , including the online course, is an approved program, meeting all 25 minimum standards set by the statute.
Even judges have noticed Parents Forever™ making a difference. Honorable Bruce W. Christopherson, district court justice in Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District, has said: “Although I sparingly cast support for programs, I enthusiastically strike the gong for Parents Forever.”
As a result of the program, Judge Christopherson has observed:
- More disputes settled voluntarily
- Less child distress
- Less cost in time and money to the legal system
- Less cost in time and money to divorcing parents
- A greater likelihood of settling future disagreements
Parents Forever™ was listed by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in their publication, Exemplary Family Court Programs and Practices (May 2005).
Parents Forever™ is Approved by Those Who Work with Parents
Here are the types of feedback we receive from those who work closest with divorcing and separating families:
- “One of the things I appreciated about the curriculum was the focus on tactics of power and control, domestic violence, and assessing for lethality. I have seen other programs that have left these pieces out, and they are crucial to any program addressing the issue.” — a domestic violence advocate
- A custody evaluator for Winona County, Minnesota, said that court-ordered custody evaluations have dropped by half over a two year period. He credited this significant drop to the information that is presented in Parents Forever™.
- An early childhood family education coordinator for Winona School District 861 has witnessed how the Parents Forever™ curriculum can lead divorcing parents to learn about being a single parent. Because of parents' experiences with the Winona County Parents Forever™ program, parent classes for single parents doubled in attendance.
What is Parents Forever?™ — Learn more about Parents Forever™.
Family Development Research — See more of our applied research and program evaluation projects.