The strength of Nurturing Families™ 2nd Edition is based on 29 years of implementing and training on the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP) initiative, alongside Dr. Stephen Bavolek. This 2nd Edition maintains the same therapeutic content from the 1st edition Nurturing Families™ 5-19 co-authored by Dr. Stephen J. Bavolek and Sonya Thorn in 2015. All NPP Curricula, including Nurturing Families™, are based on the 33-year history of the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) research. Nurturing Families™ 2nd Edition, the most updated manuals, were created with a trauma informed lens and focus on the diverse needs of today’s families.

NPP-Nurturing Families™ program includes a Facilitator Manual with Resources and a Family Workbook (agency license) for adults parenting children ages infant through 19 years. The program has been culturally translated for Spanish speaking families (Criando Familias). Families reach competencies through lessons that encourage and sustain attitudinal and behavioral change.


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Training Services


NPP-Nurturing Families™ Facilitator Certification Training

This training requires the purchase of Nurturing Families™ curriculum

This NPP-Nurturing Families™ Facilitator Certification Training is specifically designed for professionals and paraprofessionals working with home visitation programs, group, individual or family setting (In-person or Virtual). It follows philosophy that emphasizes the importance of raising children in a warm, trusting, and caring environment. It is founded on the belief that children who are cared for develop the capacity to trust, care, and respect themselves, others, living creatures, and their environment.

This course is currently being offered as a three-day online 18 hour training.

This training focuses on understanding the philosophy of nurturing parenting, assessing high risk parenting beliefs and environments, facilitating competency-based parenting lessons tailored to meet the individual parenting needs of families. Nurturing Families™ can be implemented at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention services. Participants will learn how to monitor the success of families through on-going process evaluation strategies designed to measure the attainment of parenting attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Participants will experience an interactive approach to implementing individual, family, and group-based service delivery models.

In this training, participants will learn:

  • The NPP-Nurturing Families™ research, values, and philosophy
  • The five parenting constructs of abuse and neglect
  • The impact of maltreatment on development
  • How to assess high-risk parenting beliefs and attitudes
  • To ensure congruency between family needs and content delivery
  • To gather process and outcome data
  • To implement individual, family, and group service models to fidelity

The role of the Certified NPP-Nurturing Families Facilitator is to guide families and facilitate discussions for self-discovery.  Facilitators, in their training, learn how to facilitate by modeling the core values and philosophy. Following the Certified Facilitator Training, Facilitators will be confident and competent individuals motivated to provide direct services to youth, children, parents and families.

CODE OF CONDUCT. NPP-Nurturing Families Facilitators and Trainers should model values and principles when interacting with all others, stay in yearly contact with their Trainer and/or affiliated Nurturing Families Center, always act in the best interest of families, paraprofessionals and professionals and implement to the highest level of integrity and fidelity.

Facilitators and Trainers must have an active agreement on file with the Nurturing Families Center and their last trainer. It is the responsibility of all individuals connected to the Nurturing Families Center to uphold all copyright laws by reporting suspected copyright infringements.

  • Curriculum developers can give you written permission to copy their material and it will be for a specific event and will have a time limit on the written MOU.
  • If you know of any agency or individual that is copying materials, we are asking that you report them to the Nurturing Families Center of Texas for investigation. Facilitators or Trainers do not have the authority to give anyone, either in their own organization or outside, permission to copy materials. Facilitator or Trainer found doing so will not be able to continue practicing. Trainers and facilitators will immediately lose their certification.
  • All Trainers are required to stress, during their trainings, the issue of copyright infringement and inform participants that copyright infringement is breaking the law and the corporation will prosecute.
  • Coping or reproducing the assessment tool for mass distribution through a google document or other methods is prohibited. Doing this can contaminate research due to not knowing who answered the assessment tool. This evaluation must be completed in real-time with the facilitator to ensure who is completing the assessment tool.

Learn more about NPP-Nurturing Families™ Facilitator Training


Fidelity Implementation Training

Learn to successfully implement NPP-Nurturing Families™ to fidelity.

Topics include:

  • Fidelity Implementation with Evidence-based Intervention
  • Obstacles that Prevent Fidelity Implementation
  • Understand Adaptation
  • Utilizing the Session 7 Step Fidelity™ Implementation
  • Delivery through Telehealth
  • Legal and Practice Concerns Through Telehealth Platforms
  • Telehealth & Nurturing Families™ Guidelines
  • Equity Service Delivery

Fidelity Implementation Monitoring

Trainers and Fidelity Specialist are available to conducted formal fidelity audits reporting finding and giving recommendations.  This is recommended each year for agencies.

This on-site or virtual time can include direct observations, hands-on learning, training, coaching, review of session documentation, etc.


Training of Trainers (18 Hour Training)

Organization/Agency (OT) & State Trainers

This training is for Nurturing Families™ experienced facilitator who would like to train facilitators in fidelity implementation of the Nurturing Families curriculum. This virtual Training of Trainers is part of the process to becoming a NPP-Nurturing Families™ Trainer. The agenda includes: Philosophy, values, 18 hour training structure, and how to assess on-going progress.

  • Review updated material including curriculum, useful documents, and the trainer packet.
  • Discuss current research and findings in the fields of service provision, parent education, child abuse and neglect, adult learning theory, change theory, and cultural parenting differences.
  • Learn how to successfully assist agencies and others with grant funding, related to Nurturing Families™
  • Review of current “Best Practices” in multiple fields of service and systems of care.
  • How to conduct facilitator trainings to a diverse audience and providers from multiple systems of care.
  • How to monitor fidelity by providing oversight and support to facilitators and agencies.

Organizaion/Agency Trainer Requirements

Large agencies may want to identify key people who may be possible candidates to become certified trainers. In that way, you can set up internal systems within your agency so that staff are trained in-house during their orientation process. This will speed the process of direct implementation using the Nurturing Familiescurriculum. These individuals must complete the NPP-Nurturing Families™ facilitator training conducted by a certified trainer which prepares them to implement the Nurturing Families.

To become a Certified NPP-Nurturing Families Trainer, all individuals must show documentation of having provided at least 2 years of direct implementation, serving a treatment population.

Organization/Agency Trainer Requirements

Successful completion of an 18-hour Nurturing Families™ Facilitator Training conducted by a Certified NPP-Nurturing Families™ Trainer/Consultant followed by: 

  • Minimum two years’ experience as a facilitator and experience facilitating at least four complete (16 competencies) Nurturing Families™ (Full Fidelity).
  • Expertise in the philosophy and goals of Nurturing Families™ as demonstrated by successful group, home visitation, and individual based implementation.
  • Expertise in program evaluation and monitoring on-going progress.
  • A letter from your supervisor attesting to your success as a trainer within your designated agency and attesting to your 2 years facilitation of Nurturing Families™.

o $495.00 + ($350) The cost of Nurturing Families™ 2nd Edition if it has not been purchased.
o $825.00 The cost of the trainer packet can not purchase until you have completed the 18hr TOT.

To meet the trainer certification requirements, a trainee will complete a total of 18 hours including 6 hours of “Trauma Informed Care”. Participants will meet virtually for 5 hours a day, 9am-11:30am & 1:30pm-4pm, plus 3 hrs. of outside reading and assignments. CEU’s will be provided.

• 2 – Reference letters – One attesting to your success facilitating Nurturing Families™ and your abilities as a trainer. Second letter from your supervisor attesting to your success as a trainer, within your agency, and your facilitation experience.
• Please send your biography along with a current photograph to the Nurturing Families Center.

For more information contact:
Nurturing Families Center™

Specialized & Agency Specific Training


Nurturing Families Booster Training™

This “Booster Training” is provided to those individuals and agencies seeking a refresher and/or advanced fidelity implementation.  Nurturing Families is an evidence based, trauma informed and nationally validated family systems model that focuses on:

  • Bonding & Attachment
  • Healthy Relationship Maintenance
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Healing & Recovery
  • Empathy & Self-Awareness
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Self-Identity & Self-Worth
  • Age Appropriate Expectations
  • Dignified Discipline Alternatives

The strength of Nurturing Families™ is based on serving a tertiary/treatment population which can be determined after completing the first 3 competencies Families with children infant to nineteen engage in both affective and cognitive learning. Families reach competencies through lessons that encourage and sustain attitudinal and behavioral change.

RACISM AS TRAUMA,

Racism as Trauma

Over the past 30 years, educators, child welfare, mental health, criminal justice, and other service professionals have been introduced to the evolving theory of trauma-informed practices. Care tends to focus on facilitating an individual’s or family’s recovery and resiliency. But what if the very country you live in is traumagenic? This talk explores the 400-year history and impacts of the USA’s racial hierarchy, its implications for all Americans, and what helping professionals can do to make a difference.

Who Should Attend: Front-line Workers and Leadership in:

  • K-12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Child and Family Welfare
  • Behavioral/Mental Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Medicine and Healthcare

View more information about Racism as Trauma.


Co-Parenting and Kinship Training

Nurturing Families Co-Parenting definition includes all adults that tough the lives of children throughout their childhood. We consider biological , kinship, step, grand parents, older siblings, aunts/uncles, foster and adopted parents as co-parents. Services offer a mutually supportive, compassionate, nonjudgmental relationship between you and your Certified Nurturing Families Facilitator that allows you to successfully identify and navigate the challenges co-parenting brings.

The Nurturing Families Co-Parenting Program meets and exceeds the six protective factors identified by the government for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect while reminding us that old school parenting education can hurt more than help with high-conflict co-parents.

Co-parents participating in the Nurturing Families learn the following:

  • How to grow in empathy as a means to decrease reactivity and conflict
  • How to identify and meet their adult needs constructively while understanding and meeting their children’s needs
  • How to identify and overcome destructive attitudes affecting their role as a parent and co-parent
  • How to learn emotional regulation for themselves and model it for their children
  • How to effectively communicate, resolve conflicts, reduce stress, and problem solve parenting and co-parenting issues.

Nurturing Fathers Program Training

The Nurturing Fathers Program is an evidence-based training course designed to teach parenting and nurturing skills to men.

View more information about Nurturing Fathers Program.


Nurturing Families with Children with Special Health Needs

The Nurturing Families Center offers this specific Facilitator Training upon request.

TRAUMA INFORMED ,

Trauma Informed Training

The Nurturing Families Center seeks to educate our communities about the impact of trauma on communities, clients, co-workers, friends, family, and frontline staff.

This training will assist participants to become “Trauma Informed” in their day-to-day work with others. Participants will recognize that people have many different types of trauma in their soul. As helping professionals we must be more cautious to not re-traumatize individuals. Participants will understand the importance of providing much-needed equitable support and empathy to others.

The Nurturing Families Center offers this specific Trauma Informed training upon request.



Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Sonya Thorn, MSOL, LCSW provides prevention and treatment-oriented training to teach professionals And professional  how to better understand and work with adults and children who have experienced a lot of trauma and are currently in hurting. (physically and emotionally).

A baby alone does not exist.
A baby can be understood only as part of a relationship.
D.W. Winnicott

A child/adult does not exist.
A child/adult can be understood only as part of a relationship.
All therapeutic work is done within a nurturing relationship foundation!

Sonya possesses a wealth of clinical expertise in the field of Infant Mental Health, acquired by providing statewide trainings and teaching of university undergraduates and graduate students in the field of Infant Mental Health. Her 29 years of experience can assist agencies in their diverse training needs. She is an expert in developing systems that work effectively to provide an array of comprehensive services to children and families.

The Nurturing Families Center offers this specific Infant Mental Health Training upon request.

LEADERSHIP,


Leadership qualities refer to how effective the leader is at managing interactions with others. Simply put, we lead through relationships. How we lead is important: how we treat others, how we interact, how we resolve conflict, and how we provide feedback all directly influence our staff members experience of their work.

Although effectiveness as a leader is often measured in quantitative outcomes—increasing school readiness, decreasing incidences of abuse and neglect, increasing vaccination rates—it is our ability to reflect on and optimize our relationships that makes these goals achievable. It is our skill in connecting with others, guiding and mentoring them, that makes good numbers a natural outgrowth of good relationships. In other words, our accomplishments are a reflection of what our relationships have allowed us to achieve.

Non-Profit Leadership Coaching

Leadership Training Topics

  • Developing Your People
  • Leadership Mentoring
  • Reflective Leadership
  • Balancing Leadership and Management Tasks
  • Reexamining Agency Mission and Objectives
  • Fostering Relationships and Supervision of Unpaid Employees (Interns/Volunteers)
  • Women Leaders in Non-Profit Settings
  • Equity and Racism

Leadership Coaching for Healthy Outcomes

Typical Topics Covered

How do you react under friction?

When confronted with something challenging, it’s human nature to go into our own familiar reactive behaviors. Our reactions tend to be some form of evading and avoiding, or speaking up without regard for how our speaking is received. In the course, you will become familiar with your personal reactive style. You will also be shown how to slow down your reaction long enough to make new choices.

Moving beyond “my view” versus “their view” to find the intersection of both

Let’s be honest. Often, without conscious thought, we hold other’s points of view as less important than ours. Recognizing the validity of another’s viewpoint is a crucial leadership skill. You will see how to separate facts from your interpretation of those facts. This skill alone can aid you in resolving issues in a way that honors each person’s point of view.

How can you avoid having your future be your past repeated?

According to research in how the mind works, most learning takes place by the age of 13 and tapers off by the early 20’s. Beyond that, the majority of adult thoughts and behaviors are simply the past repeated. You will learn how to recognize these barriers and generate new neuropath ways consistent with a higher level of leadership.

Are you on autopilot?

In the split-second before you speak, several things are occurring that will determine the outcome of the conversation. You will see how it is possible to stay connected in conversation, even when you are upset, without endorsing another’s behavior or changing your view.

Are you listening, or just waiting to speak?

The most respected and effective leaders are those who truly listen, beneath words to what was meant. You will see how your own thoughts and reactions filter what you hear. In that space where you can see what shapes your thoughts, emotions and reactions, you can stretch to make new choices.

Leadership One on One Coaching

Leadership and Administrative Systems Support

We offers services in these areas:

  • Developing Systems and Structures for Organization Learning & Improvement
  • Supervising Diverse Staff & Teams with Diverse Needs
  • Nurturing Families™ Fidelity Audits
  • Recognizing the Difference between Leading & Managing
  • Strategic Planning
  • Collaborations & Outside Partnership Skills
  • Development & Maintenance of a Volunteer & Internship Site to Meet Multiple Agency Needs
  • Managing Change While Increasing Quality
  • Understanding & Incorporating Reflective Leadership
  • Executive/Leadership Coaching Skills
  • How to Motivate and Actively Engage Staff
  • Managing Day-to-Day Tasks While Incorporating Big Picture Thinking

Training Fees

Training Fees for Individuals and Agencies

Individual Participation

  • Individuals wanting to go through a  Nurturing Families training, register online at
  • Trainings are offered throughout the country.
  • Space is limited and fills up quickly for individual trainings. You can also Contact Us directly to reserve slots.

Agency Contract

Hosting Agency provides:

  • Free training site with easy access to airport, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Comfortable, well-lit training room with internet access and computer/PowerPoint capabilities and seating for 15 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) participants at tables and chairs.
  • Short list of affordable local lodging options.
  • Circulation of brochure via email to your community partners (if needed).
  • Purchase and set up of light morning and afternoon break snacks and beverages.
  • Will receive activity workbook for each participant (curricula purchased separately).

Hosting Agency costs:

  • Pays the Trainer directly for training fees $1500/day in-state (Texas rates) $2000/day out of state = $4500-$6000 for the 3-day training. If you want to host for 50 people, the training rate will double.
  • Pays for trainer(s) lodging, flight, or ground transportation and meal per diem (average $1500/trainer in state & $2000/out of state).
  • Hosting Agency can charge participants up to $425 for the training and they pay host agency directly.
  • This training will happen on the date decided by Trainer and hosting agency regardless of number of participants.

Agency Hosting

Hosting Agency provides:

  • Free training site with easy access to airport, restaurants and hotels.
  • Comfortable, well-lit training room with internet access and DVD/PowerPoint capabilities and seating for 18 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) participants with tables and chairs.
  • Short list of affordable local lodging options.
  • Circulation of brochure via email to your community partners.
  • Purchase and set up of light morning and afternoon break snacks and beverages.
  • Will receive training workbook for each participant (curricula purchased separately).

 Hosting Agency costs:

  • Pays the Trainer directly online for individual participants from hosting agency $425/participant. All other participants pay online after date has been set.
  • Once there are 18 -20 paid participants, host agency can have up to 2 free slots.
  • Agency understands that if we do not get the minimum paid participants (18 -20), the training will be cancelled and postponed for a different date.


  • Develops the training brochure and provides it to hosting agency
  • Advertises the program through state and national websites
  • Trainer pays their own lodging, travel, and meals
  • Trainer provides participants with training workbooks (a cost of $425 for 25 individuals)

Registration for Training


The Nurturing Families Center and Praxis with Integrity Consulting PLLC offer a broad range of training to support you or your agencys needs.

To register for any of our training, select the desired training below.

Upcoming Trainings


Training Calendar


I just wanted to say that your training was “Awesome.”  I was totally moved by your presentation and I definitely held my tears “back” in many instances throughout those (3) days.  Keep up the Great work!!! You are truly making a difference in the lives of many, many, people…

I have realized that it was for the sake of (my children) and for many other families that I come across on a daily basis…  I have learned that, we need to really “feel” what our children are going through and allow them to express themselves, instead of “shutting them down” so fast & hurting them…  By no means you put a (guilt trip) on anyone during the conference, but I can definitely see where I can change a whole lot, for the sake of my children, from this point forward…I appreciate you, your time and your hard work.

Ebony Shelton, MSW

Awe-Inspiring Consultants, Inc.

Sonya is an excellent presenter, experienced and delivered a wealth of knowledge. She is truly a poster child for the Nurturing Program; I appreciated her flexibility, recommendations, and helpful nature. Most impactful to me is that Sonya is absolutely passionate for her work which is evident in her training courses.

Tina Torres, MS, MFCT

Children Coordinator

Sonya is one dynamic trainer who provides you with all the skills, tools, and confidence to present best practices to your audience, whether it is professionals or families. Attending Nurturing Parenting Training to become a facilitator or a trainer of trainers is the best experience I have received as an individual and a professional. The knowledge gained is instantly promotes health and wellness. It was just awesome and a very enjoyable learning experience.

LaSandra Jones

Education, OJJD

I counsel and work with women who have problems with substance abuse or substance dependency at Aliviane Tigua Women’s and Children Recovery Center. I learned and enjoyed the training Sonya provided. There were many scenarios in our class that in reality are useful in our facility, which is especially important, in addition to education on the addiction itself. The nurturing program is going to not only teach our ladies to nurture their children but to nurture themselves. This training to me personally was food for the soul. Thank you, Sonya.

Laura Faudea, LDDC

ECI - El Paso, Texas

I recently began my career in the substance abuse and mental health field. Our target population are mothers from the ages of seventeen years and older. We are a residential facility that has the luxury to see those mothers interact their their children on a daily basis. The training from Sonya was very educational, motivating, and inspiring. Our training class interacted very well with one another and I can honestly say that many of us took more than one thing from the training. I look forward to implementing the new strategies that we were taught in Sonya’s class in our facility; I know we are going to see some amazing results with the mother-child interaction.

Cynthia Gomez

PPW Case Manager

I have worked in the field with children and families for 17 years and have always looked for the best way to help families connect, love and grow. This training with Sonya Thorne on the Nurturing Parenting program has been not only refreshing but rejuvenated the passion inside of me about why I work in the field I work in.  She allowed for us to transform as professionals through Nurturing Parenting who we are and providing us with new thoughts, ideas and skills to continue helping families grow with the NP program. Thank you Sonya, for continuing to inspire, motivate and provide best practices to the professionals in the field.
Cheyenne Massey, AAA PsyD

WestCare California