Knox County (2016)

Knox County Head Start has been implementing Conscious Discipline in its Head Start and Early Head Start programs for over a decade. The Parenting Knowledge, Engagement and Training Year End Summary provides an insightful overview of their parent program for 2016, including funding, social media efforts, participant perceptions, events and participation numbers.

This glimpse into the inner-workings of Knox County Head Start is rich with ideas and information about their offerings, as well as parent statements about what they’re learning. Highlights include 90% of participants showing progress in social-emotional development, 1,230 new people who “liked” or followed Knox County Head Start’s social media efforts, and individual feedback like, “It helped us calm more easily, slow down to really connect, and assess situations that are hard.”

Renee Sutherland, the Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been integral to Knox County’s parent training program says, “Bringing parents and guardians on board with using Conscious Discipline with their children has had huge benefits for children and families, and also for our agency as a whole. As families have become empowered to utilize the Seven Skills of Conscious Discipline that are used at school, relationships between parents and children have strengthened, as have the connections between families and schools. Being all in this together is a win-win for everyone!”

Intro brief: The Knox County Head Start summary report shows the pre- and post- test results for two sessions of their Conscious Discipline-based Head Start Conscious Parenting Training series. All participants observed improvement in all seven of the parental abilities/skills categories tested.

Type of report: Research report, descriptive non-experimental pre-/post-test


Study design

Participants completed surveys before and after completing a six lesson workshop series on Conscious Discipline. A group of 27 parents participated in a fall session and a group of 31 parents participated in a winter session, for a total of 58 participants. The participant surveys included seven different parental abilities and skills.


For the 58 parents that attended all six sessions, there was an observed improvement in all seven parental abilities/skills categories. Parents’ feedback included greater awareness of how their internal state affected others (96.8%), feeling more connected to their children (100%), acquiring techniques for calming themselves before approaching a scenario with their children (87.2%) and fewer aggressive acts (73.3%). 100% of parents would recommend the series to a friend.

In the fall session, 92.6% of parents reported a rating of 4 (most of the time) or 5 (almost always), and/or improvement in at least four parenting abilities/skills. In the same group, 70.4% reported a 4 or 5 rating and/or improvement in all seven key parenting abilities/skills.

In the winter session, parents reported a 100% rating of 4 (most of the time) or 5 (almost always), and/or improvement in at least four parenting abilities/skills. Within this group, 67.7% rated a 4 or 5 and/or improvement in all seven parenting abilities/skills.

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