Being a parent is perhaps the most difficult, full-time job out there. Fortunately, parents don’t have to tackle the challenges of parenting alone! At Prevent Child Abuse Utah we have a program built especially to support parents through life’s challenges.
What is Parents as Teachers?
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a home visiting model. It’s used around the world and supports parents and caregivers. The PAT program helps parents raise healthy and resilient children and has four parts:
- Personal Visits
- Group Connections
- Resource Networking
- Child Screening
Together these pieces (discussed in the FAQ) help parents learn more about child development. They also increase family safety and child health, and prepare kids for school and later success in life!
Each family in the program is assigned a Parent Educator who helps parents identify their strengths and helps them overcome the challenges of raising children. Parent Educators work to give parents the tools they will need on their parenting journey.
How does it work?
First, our program serves families with children from prenatal to five years of age. Once eligibility is established, we’ll schedule an intake appointment. A Parent Educator will help you gather the required paperwork for the program and will learn about your family’s unique needs. Your Parent Educator will brainstorm community resources that can help parents and children reach their goals. Our communities are full of organizations that support families! One of the jobs of a Parent Educator is to work as a connector for families and resources. After the intake appointment, you’ll be scheduled for your first personal visit and the magic of PAT begins!
Frequently Asked Questions
So, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about the Parents as Teachers:
Q: Where do personal visits take place?
A: Visits take place wherever is most convenient for your family. Usually, this means your house. However, visits can take place at a local park, library, or anywhere you feel most comfortable. Virtual or phone visits are also available. Parent Educators are flexible and will visit your family in a way that works best for you!
Q: How often do personal visits take place?
A: Personal visits can take place anywhere from 1-4 times per month, depending on your needs. The average is 2 visits per month.
Q: What happens during a personal visit?
A: Every personal visit has three sections: Parent-Child Interaction, Child Development, and Family wellbeing.
- Parent-Child Interaction: Parent Educators always bring simple, fun activities designed to help parents bond with their child. The selected activities focus on a specific piece of child development. We encourage parents to practice these activities with their children both during and after the visit.
- Child Development: Parent Educators also provide parents with informational handouts about their child’s unique development. For example, the handout might help you understand that your child’s tantrum is a normal reaction for their age. Understanding behavior expectations can relieve stress and anxiety.
- Family Wellbeing: During this portion of the visit, you and your Parent Educator will discuss the particular challenges you’re facing and brainstorm solutions. They might even connect you to community resources for additional support!
Q: What are group connections?
A: Social connections and friendships in the community strengthen families. Because of this, the PAT program hosts group connections! Group connections are an opportunity for our families to gather together, play games, enjoy a meal together, socialize, and just have some fun! We host group connections once a month and encourage community members to attend.
Q: What assessments do you do?
A: Don’t worry, assessments don’t give you a “parenting score”! Parent Educators assess child development to detect potential delays in development and connect you to any additional support you might need. Fortunately, there are many services that can help, and the earlier we connect your child to them, the better!
Q: How can I enroll in Parents as Teachers?
A: Visit us on the PAT Website! Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the green box labeled “Find a PAT program”. If you’re a Utah state resident living in Weber or Davis county, you can visit our website, or contact Cassie Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tiffany Krzycki at email@example.com or call our Ogden office at (801) 393-3366. We would love to hear from you!
Parents don’t give themselves enough credit. Good parenting is good enough! No one expects perfection. It takes a village to raise a child and no caregiver should face the challenges of parenting alone. You are the first and foremost expert on your child! Parents as Teachers partners with families to help them reach their goals and flourish as they see fit. Building loving, resilient families is key to ensuring the well-being of our communities, nations, and the world at large.