Brazelton's creation of the 'Touchpoints' concept, as a philosophical model that explains human development, has had a significant impact on how professionals, as educators, have learned to interact with the child and to privilege the child-family relation.

'Touchpoints' is a theoretical and practical approach to a developmental and relational model that is framed by key moments and that focuses on the baby/child and the family. It aims to boost parental skills built upon the parent-child relationship and to create an alliance between parents and professionals operating within this system.
The model applies from the prenatal period throughout the child's development. It is based on the newborn paradigm and on a practical strategy intended to promote the vital foundations for a healthier upbringing. In order to achieve better results, children need parents who have confidence in their skills and capabilities.



The Touchpoints model involves an articulation between the work of providers and children's health, education and social services. It strives to create a common language and to meet the needs of children and their families.
The model points to a shift in the way professionals work with families by focusing on the family's strengths and taking on a collaborative posture of empathetic involvement. This change in attitude is based on nine guiding principles and seven parent assumptions:


  • Value and understand the relationship between you and the parent.
  • Use the behavior of the child as your language.
  • Recognize what you bring to the interaction.
  • Acknowledge and respect each family’s cultures.
  • Be willing to discuss matters that go beyond your traditional role.
  • Value passion wherever you find it.
  • Focus on the parent-child relationship.
  • Look for opportunities to support parental mastery.
  • Value disorganization and vulnerability as an opportunity.

Parent Assumptions

  • The parent is the expert on his/her child.
  • All parents have strengths.
  • All parents want to do well by their child.
  • All parents have something critical to share at each developmental stage.
  • All parents have ambivalent feelings
  • Parenting is rooted in cultural practices, beliefs and individual experiences.
  • Parenting is a process built on trial and error.