Power Source Parenting – Original


Most teen parents share one thing in common — the desire to be great parents, the kind of loving and unconditionally supportive caretakers they may not have had. Power Source Parenting empowers youth to become exactly that. Power Source Parenting is an innovative, trauma informed program designed to provide adolescents with the knowledge and skills they need to grow into strong adults, become effective parents, and raise healthy children. What separates Power Source Parenting from other programs is the belief that self regulation lies at the heart of effective parenting and that you can’t teach your own children critical social and emotional skills unless you possess them yourself. Power Source Parenting has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and there are over 30,000 copies of the book in circulation.

The interactive, thirteen-session program addresses:

  • How to balance the competing needs of being a teen and being a parent
  • Managing challenging emotions
  • The importance of creating a healthy attachment to your baby
  • Using positive discipline practices
  • Establishing healthy relationships with partners
  • Finding common ground with the baby’s father
  • Three generational living
  • Understanding how high risk behavior impacts your ability to parent effectively
  • Becoming an emotion coach to your child

Who it Helps

Power Source Parenting offers a comprehensive social and emotional learning (SEL) program for virtually any adolescent parent. However, it is uniquely designed for youth with histories of trauma and intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect. Power Source Parenting can be used by anyone with an understanding of the strengths and needs of teen parents including direct care staff, counselors, teachers, parenting specialists, psychologists, and social workers. Power Source Parenting is one of the few programs that addresses the risk factors associated with children being removed from parental care and focuses on the parent behaviors required for reunification. It can be utilized in a variety of settings, such as: 

  • Residential teen parenting programs
  • Community based parenting support programs
  • School based parenting programs
  • Child welfare agencies 
  • Home visiting programs

Why it Works

Power Source Parenting is a strength based program that recognizes the inherent resilience and fortitude of teen parents. The program makes its impact by first meeting youth where they are (with no judgement!) and offering an engaging, developmentally informed guide to becoming attuned and sensitive parents. Power Source Parenting helps teen parents build their self regulation capacities through mindfulness training and evidence based cognitive behavioral skills. Power Source Parenting uses motivational interviewing techniques to help reduce the risk behaviors many trauma impacted teen parents engage in including substance abuse, interpersonal violence, and offending behaviors in order to be more attuned and effective parents. Taking control of one’s own emotions and behaviors is the first step in modeling and transmitting effective SEL skills to one’s child. The program also integrates concepts from proven parenting interventions such as Parent Management Training to equip parents with the discipline skills shown to reduce child behavior problems and build parents’ sense of competence.

Program Resources

The Power Source Parenting Program is a highly flexible, user friendly intervention that can be modified to meet the needs and resources of your setting. Power Source Parenting can be used as a stand alone program or as an adjunct to existing programming. Power Source Parenting materials can be used with youth one on one, in groups, or the book and worksheets from the facilitator manual can be used by youth on their own. Resources include: 

for teen parents
Facilitator Manual
easy to use guide to group facilitation

Learn more about the impact that Power Source Parenting has on participants.

Each purchase of Power Source Parenting comes with access to The Mindful Parenting Videos which use real teens to model sensitive and attuned caregiving. Available at no charge to agencies that purchase the Power Source Parenting manual.

Additional Free Resources

These free Power Source Parenting videos can be used alongside the Power Source Parenting book and manual. The videos feature adolescent parents modeling mindful parenting practices, as well as specific skills from the Power Source program. 


Research and ongoing program evaluation are critical components of ensuring that our resources are not only effective, but are revised to incorporate the growing body of knowledge in the fields of social and emotional learning, trauma, and effective treatment delivery.