Parent-Child Relationship Programs has a long and rich history in the Infant Mental Health field. There are hundreds of studies validating the work of our founder, Dr. Kathryn Barnard. In 1971, Dr. Kathryn Barnard, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington, initiated research that brought the ecology of early child development closer to the level of clinical practice by developing methods for assessing behaviors of children and parents.
She identified environmental factors that are critical to a child’s well-being and demonstrated the importance of parent-child interaction as a predictor of later cognitive and language development. Dr. Barnard was incredibly foresightful. These assessment tools, widely known as the NCAST Feeding and Teaching Parent-Child Interaction scales, were initially taught in 1979 to over 600 nurses in a series of eight classes via satellite in the United States. After the satellite training experiment ended, NCAST (Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training), under the direction of Georgina Sumner, started offering a Certified Instructor Workshop in Seattle. These professionals gained reliability in the use of the Feeding and Teaching Scales and after obtaining certification as an NCAST Local Instructor went back to their communities to teach others in how to become astute observers of parent-child interaction using the scales.
To give professionals, parents and other caregivers the knowledge and skills to provide nurturing environments for young children by developing and disseminating innovative evidence-based and research-based products and training programs used in many disciplines and settings.
Parent-Child Relationship Programs is a self-sustaining program in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington.
Parent-Child Relationship Programs was founded in 1976.
The Barnard Center was founded in 2001 by Dr. Kathryn Barnard.
Years in Business
Participants Trained in 2020
Events and Workshops Held in 2020
Number of Countries Accessing our Programs in 2020
Meet Our Team
Monica Oxford, MSW, PhD
Executive Director of Parent-Child Relationship Programs
Monica Oxford, MSW, PhD, is a Research Professor in Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing at the University of Washington and the Executive Director of the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development. Her research focuses on early parenting and child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments. Dr. Oxford’s interest is in how context, parenting, and child characteristics combine to inform particular patterns of child outcomes and how intervention services promote both caregiver and child well-being. Dr. Oxford is also involved in training social service providers throughout Washington on infant mental health, strengths based practice, and how providers can support caregiver-child dyadic interaction from an attachment based perspective.
Dr. Oxford is principal investigator of four NIH grants; the first three are aimed at examining the impact of Promoting First Relationships® (PFR: Kelly et al, 2008). PFR is a brief 10-week home visiting program that is strengths and relationship-based video feedback program. These three studies are randomized control trials in three populations: one RCT for parents involved with child protective services, one RCT for reunified birth families, and one RCT for American Indian families in a rural setting. The fourth NIH grant is aimed at addressing the interaction between family, school, child, and contextual risk such as poverty and early child developmental outcomes Dr. Oxford is also co-principal investigator on three NIH funded RCT testing the effectiveness of PFR in three additional populations (foster care, perinatal mental health setting, and American Indian rural setting).
Denise Findlay, BSN, RN
Director of Education
As the Director of Education, Denise is an enthusiastic and responsive trainer who has been teaching the NCAST Parent-Child Interaction Teaching and Feeding scales for over 30 years. She prepares, certifies, and mentors NCAST PCI Instructors throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and England. Denise, along with Dr. Monica Oxford, edited the new Second Edition of both the NCAST PCI Feeding (2015) & Teaching (2013) Manuals. She also assists with developing new research-based training programs and products and provides consultation and support to our Promoting Maternal Mental Health During Pregnancy trainers. Denise attended Seattle University and completed the University of Massachusetts Boston, Napa Infant Parent Mental Health fellowship program, holding a post-graduate certificate in Infant Parent Mental Health. Denise is interested in the importance of infant and toddler non-verbal cues with specific application to obesity prevention and early identification of autism. She has committed her nursing career to promoting optimal parent-child relationships, beginning during the prenatal period through three years of age. Prior to coming to the University of Washington, Denise worked with vulnerable populations as a Public Health Nurse for twenty years.
In her personal time, Denise serves on the local board of NAMI Kitsap; she enjoys spending time outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, discovering new, incredible Washington wines, traveling, and treasures every moment she can spend with family and friends.
Jennifer Rees, MSW
Jennifer directs Promoting First Relationships’ community and distance training programs. She is responsible for curriculum and program development, assuring program fidelity, providing on-site and distance training to community agencies, facilitating reflective practice groups and managing contracts. Jennifer graduated with honors from the University of Washington with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and later went on to obtain her Master of Social Work degree. She spent the early part of her career working with children and families as a Research Coordinator for the NICHD Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development, as well as counseling teens and their families in school settings.
Her projects with Promoting First Relationships have included training providers working in child welfare, family support, mental health, early intervention, and early childhood education. Jennifer cares deeply about supporting parents in a strengths-based way and helping them have a positive, connected relationship with their child.
Carol Good, MSW, LICSW, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor - Clinical
Carol has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carroll College in Helena, MT. She later received a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Washington. Her clinical practice started in 1990 working in a residential treatment facility that specialized in working with children that had disrupted attachment relationships. In 1992 she moved to Western Washington and began working in the field of early childhood mental health. Carol has over 27 years’ experience providing infant/early childhood mental health services in both a community mental health setting, and in early intervention services in Washington State.
Her focus of practice has consistently been assisting parents in better understanding their child’s social and emotional needs and the interplay between trauma and attachment relationships. She has been providing supervision and training to practitioners in the field of infant/early childhood mental health since 2001 as well as providing workshops for parents of infants and toddlers. She joined the University of Washington as a Promoting First Relationships (PFR) Master Trainer in 2014. Since that time she has provided workshops and training on a variety of topics including PFR throughout the U.S. and abroad. Carol enjoys dynamic conversation at her presentations and encourages all voices in the room to be heard and engaged.
Nancy Meenen, BA
Nancy has worked in the education field for over 15 years as well as operated her own business for over 15 years. She manages the day to day operations of PCRP including: marketing and promotional projects, training workshops, the website/store, and student/client liaison. Nancy grew up in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. In her personal time she enjoys hiking, knitting, and extreme gardening.
Maureen is a Chicago native and attended the University of Illinois. She is chuffed to be in Seattle and cares immensely about the parent and child relationship. In her personal time, she enjoys being active, exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest, reading, crocheting, traveling, and being a dog mom to her mini poodle mix Popcorn.
Parent-Child Relationship Programs endorses “The Tenets”. The Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families (Tenets) are a set of guiding principles and practices that strengthen the commitment and capacity of professionals, organizations and systems to embed diversity, inclusion and equity principles into their work with infants, children and families.
The Tenets help programs, organizations and systems of care benchmark their progress in embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of individual and organizational practices and policies. They help launch the beginning of an ongoing, always-evolving conversation, about creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable organization.