NOBODY'S PERFECT is a parenting education and support program for parents of children from birth to age five. It is designed to meet the needs of parents who are young, single, socially or geographically isolated or who have low income or limited formal education. It informs parents about the "whens," "whats" and "whys" of the first five years of childhood. Participation is voluntary and free of charge to parents.
This NOBODY'S PERFECT Program was developed by Health Canada in partnership with the Departments of Health of the four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; and Prince Edward Island. NOBODY'S PERFECT was introduced nationally in 1987.
"NOBODY'S PERFECT accepted me as who I am and helped me learn who I can be." Parent
NOBODY'S PERFECT is offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions. The program is built around five colourful, easy-to-read books which are given to the parents free of charge. During the meetings, trained facilitators support participants as they work together to discover positive ways of parenting.
NOBODY’S PERFECT parent materials are currently under revision. The materials are presently available in both French and English, as the 1997 edition.
The NOBODY'S PERFECT Program is based on the principles of adult education - it builds on what parents already know and do for themselves and their children. It starts with the parents' personal experiences and interests and actively involves participants in the learning process. It builds networks among parents and encourages them to see one another as sources of advice and support.
"I would recommend it to friends - a way to make new friends and find mutual support." Parent
"I like the parent books because they are easy to understand and I can keep them." Parent
Yes, it is. Several major evaluation and impact studies have found NOBODY'S PERFECT to be successful at reducing isolation and increasing parenting skills and confidence.
NOBODY'S PERFECT has proven to be an effective program for parents who have limited access to sources of help or information. The program is offered in a broad range of settings in every Canadian province and territory. NOBODY'S PERFECT is liked and used by many parents, including immigrant and Aboriginal parents.
"It was exciting to see things brought out and comments made and to see changes parents could see happening to themselves. Instead of me giving all the information it came from the parents - they took over." NOBODY'S PERFECT Facilitator
The most recent impact evaluation PDF of the NOBODY'S PERFECT Program was completed in 2009, a combined partnership between the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada) and the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta.
For more information about the effectiveness of NOBODY’S PERFECT, please visit The Canadian Best Practices Portal for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention . The Canadian Best Practice Portal has a list of community interventions related to health promotion that have been evaluated and shown to be successful.
Across Canada, over 5,000 community workers, parents and public health nurses have been trained as NOBODY'S PERFECT facilitators. Facilitation training provides information about delivering the NOBODY'S PERFECT Program and develops skills for helping adults learn in group settings.
Networks in every province and territory provide on-going support for facilitators and trainers.
"The facilitators are more into listening to us rather than telling us what to do. It is far more helpful - it makes me feel like I can deal with things without being judged." Parent
To obtain further information regarding the NOBODY'S PERFECT Program, its implementation, or facilitation training within your province, please contact your provincial/territorial coordinator.
National coordinator contact:
Public Health Agency of Canada
Division of Childhood and Adolescence
200 Eglantine Driveway
Jeanne Mance Building, Tunney's Pasture
Telephone: (613) 952-1220
Fax: (613) 952-1556