Christians As Family Advocates – CAFA Parenting Program

Type of Approach:

  • Group

Provider Education Level:

  • Unspecified


  • Greater than 12 weeks

Trauma Type:

  • Child Abuse
  • Community Violence
  • Disrupted Attachment
  • Domestic Violence
  • Gang Violence
  • Homicide/Familicide
  • Multiple
  • Neglect
  • Other
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Substance Abusing Caregiver

Trauma Symptom:

  • Unspecified


  • Domestic Violence Shelter


Type of services:

Parenting classes for parents who have committed domestic violence and parents who have been victims of domestic violence; separate group classes are provided to offending and nonoffending parents.

Program setting:

Domestic violence program/shelter

Length of program/number of sessions:

15 sessions

Type(s) of trauma:

Domestic violence and other trauma

Additional Information:

Parents learn skills to help them be healing agents in their children’s lives. Parents practice empathy skills with their children that can also help them empathize with others including their spouse/partner.

Most clients are mandated to participate and often they are not able to have contact with their child or can only have contact during supervised visitation.

Unique/Innovative Characteristics

This experiential program teaches parents through role play, demonstrations and practice to play, communicate, empathize and be a healing agent for their children. When parents do not have contact with their children, this process helps to prepare them to parent positively if they have future contact with their children.

CAFA parenting skills have been integrated into a batterers’ intervention program.

Date Added/Updated:



  • 18-25 (Young Adult)
  • 25 and up (Adult)


  • English

Ethnic Racial Group:

  • American Indian, Alaska Native, Other Indigenous
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Unspecified
  • White

Caregivers Included:

  • Father
  • Mother

Population Adaptations:

Age range of children:

Parenting skills are adapted to the age of the child(ren).

Parent/adult caregiver included in intervention:

Yes, this is a parenting program.

Ethnic/racial and other groups served:

The program serves an ethnically diverse population which is 5% Native American, 5% African American, 10% Hispanic 75% Caucasian, and 5% other.

Specific cultural adaptations:

Many of the clients served are illiterate. CAFA focuses on experiential learning to accommodate parents who cannot read or write.

Languages available:



Theoretical basis:

CAFA combines ideas and has adapted material from Filial Play Therapy for clients experiencing/perpetrating domestic violence. Other interventions and theories that are integrated into this program include collaborative problem solving, cognitive behavioral therapy, and attachment-based theory.

Outcome indicators:
  • Qualitative client reports on increased sense of parenting competency
  • Parents’ increased enjoyment with their children
  • Decrease in children’s symptoms

Evaluation Studies:

Evaluation studies:

None to date

Filial play therapy, a core component of this program has been researched with many different populations.

Rated/Reviewed by Evidence Based Registries:

This intervention was not rated by the registries/databases we reviewed.

Training Contact:

Training Notes:

Training manual:


Availability of training:

Yes, available to provide training on filial play.


Carolyn Rexius;




Program Contact