What is the CHAI Parenting Initiative?
The goal of the CHAI Parenting Initiative is to strengthen South Asian families. We do this by addressing the needs of South Asian parents with clinical and research knowledge on the South Asian community and creating accessible parenting tools. The Initiative encourages the community to ask questions and engage in active discussions about parenting and will also provide education, resources and guidance to South Asian parents looking for answers about parenting.
The Initiative is supported by a grant from the Asian American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Foundation and the Okura Mental Health Leadership Fellowship. The Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation is an organization dedicated to strengthening treatment, services and training for the AAPI community. The grant supports the collaborative work of Dr. Neha Navsaria, a psychologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Razia Kosi, a social worker and founder of the organization Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians Inc. (CHAI). CHAI is a nonprofit that takes a holistic approach to providing proactive, culturally competent information and referrals on mental health and wellness to the South Asian population. They work collaboratively with communities and service organizations to end stigma and increase access to mental health services.
The CHAI Parenting Initiative includes several components:
- An online needs assessment to determine parents’ most pressing concerns;
- Monthly webinars and in-person regional seminars based on those topics
- Ongoing Web-based information keying off feedback from the webinars and seminars
- Culturally sensitive brochures on parenting topics that will be disseminated nationally through community events, workshops, social media and listservs.
The first phase – Parenting Needs Assessment Survey, was conducted in 2012 with 100 South Asian parents. Parents voiced a clear need for information, especially when it pertained to the delicate intersection of culture and parenting. A call for authors was sent out for experts on the most requested topics. We are currently in the process of receiving and reviewing articles for the resource booklet.
The next phase uses the information from the survey to help launch regional focus groups on South Asian parenting across the U.S. The first group was held in Washington, DC at the SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) Summit in April 2013 facilitated by Navsaria and Kosi. The goal of each focus group is to provide a safe and confidential forum for parents to talk about their concerns and challenges faced when parenting. We encourage parents to share their difficulties and successes as they navigate the world of cross-cultural parenting.
For information about the CHAI Parenting Initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org