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Nobody's Perfect

NOBODY'S PERFECT is a facilitated, community-based parenting program for parents of children from birth to age five. The program 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.

Within a group setting, parents participate in facilitated sessions that:

  • promote positive parenting
  • increase parents’ understanding of children’s health, safety, and behaviour
  • help parents build on the skills they have and learn new ones
  • improve parents’ self-esteem and coping skills
  • increase self-help and mutual support
  • bring them in contact with community services and resources
  • help prevent family violence

Nobody’s Perfect is a place where parents can:

  • MEET with other parents of young children (ages 0-5)
  • SHARE questions or concerns and ideas about being a parent
  • LEARN about child development, safety, health and behaviour
  • TALK about real-life parenting experiences
  • WORK together with the support of a trained facilitator
  • DISCOVER ways of positive parenting

NOBODY'S PERFECT is owned by the Public Health Agency of Canada and delivered across Canada through provincial and territorial organizations.

The NOBODY'S PERFECT Program was originally 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.

How does NOBODY'S PERFECT work?

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.

Trained facilitators offer the NOBODY'S PERFECT program using a learner-centered, strengths-based approach, in line with the concepts of adult learning. This approach includes:

  • involving parents in deciding what they want to learn
  • creating a friendly, safe and non-judgmental atmosphere
  • encouraging discussion
  • creating learning activities which enable parents to understand their situation and solve some of their own problems
  • being prepared to change the session plan to suit the needs and interests of parents
  • encouraging self-help and mutual support

The NOBODY'S PERFECT program is supported with a series of five parent books named Safety, Body, Behaviour, Parents, and Mind, as well as growth and development charts. However, there is no set curriculum. Parents are encouraged to choose the topics of discussion.

How do I become a facilitator?

Across Canada, thousands of community workers, parents and public health nurses have been trained as NOBODY'S PERFECT facilitators. Expertise in parenting is not necessary to facilitate a NOBODY'S PERFECT program.

NOBODY'S PERFECT uses a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach to training facilitators. The training program is offered through the Nobody’s Perfect provincial/territorial coordinators. The training, which typically lasts four days, would support you to become a facilitator of group learning rather than being an expert in parenting.

NOBODY'S PERFECT facilitators are prepared to change session plans to suit the needs and interests of the participants. The aim is to create a safe, friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere. Learning activities allow parents to understand their situation, their child’s behaviour and development and to build upon their current skills. The activities encourage self-help and mutual support.

To learn more about facilitator training in your area, contact your provincial/territorial coordinator. Their contact information can be found at Nobody's Perfect Provincial Coordinators.

Is NOBODY'S PERFECT effective?

Several studies have shown that participants in the NOBODY'S PERFECT parenting program experience increased:

  • confidence in their parenting skills
  • ability to cope with stress
  • ability to problem solve
  • resiliency
  • self-sufficiency and independence
  • frequency of positive parent-child interactions
  • use of positive discipline techniques
  • access to peer/social/community support

The most recent impact evaluation (PDF document)External Link 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.

Contact Information

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 Children, Seniors, and Healthy Development
E-mail: DCA.public.inquiries@phac-aspc.gc.ca