ACE Awareness Foundation and
Universal Parenting Places (UPPs)
To support the healthy development of Memphis children, their families, and the community, the ACE Awareness Foundation developed Universal Parenting Places — UPPs. These judgment-free centers are places where parents, grandparents, and other family members who are child caregivers receive professional counseling with a licensed therapist; information, emotional support, and referrals for family-related issues and concerns; as well as participate in stress-reduction and parent-child bonding activities — all at no cost.
In the same way that visits to the pediatrician help parents with common medical concerns related to physical illness, the UPPs use the latest brain science and best practices in family therapy to solve common concerns affecting children’s social-emotional health.
UPPs provide preventive, relationship-based opportunities for parents to get answers to questions about common challenges and sources of stress that affect them and their children, including:
° Positive discipline strategies
° Conflict between parents, such as divorce
° Bullying and aggression
° Peer or sibling problems
° School adjustment issues
° Welcoming a new baby or entering into a blended family
° New parent feeling overwhelmed or depressed
Individual counseling is the primary way the sites help parents address ACEs. However, each UPP incorporates interactive arts — improvisational theater, music, drum circles, and exercise classes — into some of its stress-reducing, skill-building group sessions through relationships with community partners.
Today, there are four UPPs in Memphis:
UPP at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women (Closed December 31, 2020)
The only freestanding women’s hospital in Memphis
6225 Humphreys Blvd., 5th floor
Memphis, TN 38120
UPP at Christ Community Health Services – Frayser
The largest primary healthcare provider in Shelby County
3481 Austin Peay Highway
Memphis, TN 38128
UPP at Knowledge Quest
Longstanding nonprofit organization that promotes youth and community development in South Memphis
990 College Park Drive, Suite 104
Memphis, TN 38126
UPP at Perea School
Operated by Church Health, the largest faith-based healthcare organization of its type in the nation
1250 Vollintine Avenue, 2nd floor
Memphis, TN 38107
In 2017, the foundation awarded funds to Leland Medical Clinic in Leland, Mississippi, to establish a fifth Universal Parenting Place. Though based on the original UPP model, the site operates independently in that community.
Universal Parenting Places Theory of Change
To create change, it is necessary to have a roadmap. A theory of change (TOC) is such a tool for creating change. Although other terms may be used, such as logic model, blueprint, pathway of change, or theory of action, they are all intended to offer a guide to the pathways through which change is achieved. Basically, a TOC is a living tool that links what you do to who you are targeting for results to why and how you do it to what you expect to achieve.
ACE Awareness Foundation understands that it is impossible to accurately determine whether the Universal Parenting Places have helped produce change at the community, caregiver, child, and parent-child levels if the steps leading to change have not been delineated. And so, the UPP Theory of Change below was developed to enable us to:
- Clarify how change happens, what progress and success look like, and what it takes to get there
- Identify and account for factors that may affect success
- Know what resources are needed to create change
- Understand what questions to ask, what data to collect, and how to make decisions that lead to better results.