Promoting First Relationships (PFR)

PFR is an evidence-based program that promote children’s social-emotional development by developing responsive and nurturing caregiver-child relationships.

The foundation of emotional organization, attention regulation, and communicative skills in children emerges from early, pleasurable interactions with caregivers. All children are born into this world totally dependent on the relationships they develop with their parents and their caregivers, the people who are closest to them. These first relationships are the foundation for young children’s growth and development in social, emotional, behavioral, language and cognitive domains.

Population Served

PFR serves caregivers and young children from birth to 5 years old.

Research and Outcomes

Four Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT) have been completed with PFR: two in child welfare populations Fostering Families Project and Supporting Parents Program; one within an American Indian tribe, Beginning Relationships; and one with a perinatal population with Spanish and English-speaking mothers who have a mental health diagnosis, Mom and Baby Program. PFR significantly improved:

  • Observed parental sensitivity in all four studies
  • Parent knowledge of child social and emotional needs
  • Child behavior, security, and sleep,
  • Prevented foster care placement by 2.5 times
  • Improved permanency for children in foster care
  • Improved stress physiology and improved social attention in children at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders