Widespread interest in ecological perspectives on parenting in the 1980s transformed the field of programs aimed at helping parents and significant family caregivers function effectively in their childrearing roles. The century-old idea that the best way to help parents is to disseminate child development information was modified to include a major focus on the social contexts of parenting. Programs experimented with ways to strengthen parents’ social networks, community ties, work-family relations, and connections with a range of other systems affecting families as a means of promoting competent parenting.