Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an evidenced based home visitation program that was established in 1981 and is currently utilized in all 50 States as well as in several other countries. The program serves children and families prenatally through kindergarten. PAT is a free service with no income requirements. The program focuses on parent-child interaction, development centered parenting, and family well being. Burlington’s PAT program serves families in Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, and Pendleton counties.
All children will learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential.
To provide the information, support, and encouragement that parents need to help their children develop optimally during the critical early years of life.
• The early years of a child's life are critical for optimal development and provide the foundation for success in school and in life.
• Parents are their children's first and most influential teachers.
• Established and emerging research should be the foundation of parent education and family support curricula, training, materials and services.
• All young children and their families deserve the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations.
• An understanding and appreciation of the history and traditions of diverse cultures is essential in serving families.
Our evidence based curriculum encompasses the following components:
• Personal visits
• Resource networks
• Group connections
A PAT home visit is personalized for each family in order to meet the specific needs of that family. PAT coordinators use a partnering, facilitating, and reflecting approach with each family to empower them to set and achieve their own goals, to understand their child(ren)’s development, and to strengthen families by building familial protective factors.
Protective Factors include:
• Parenting resilience (Capacity to adapt and change during life stressors)
• Social connections (Friends, neighbors, family, and community members who can provide emotional support as well as concrete assistance.)
• Knowledge of parenting and child development (Understanding child development and parenting behaviors)
• Concrete support in times of need. (Connecting families with resources and helping to create a plan to resolve ongoing issues.)
• Social and emotional competence of children. (promoting social and emotional development)
Another part of the PAT program includes monthly group connections. Group connections offer families an opportunity to socialize with other families. There are fun, engaging activities in each of the counties served. Quarterly newsletters are mailed out to each family that identifies what activities are going on in their community. PAT also provides various types of screenings including vision, hearing, milestones, and ages and stages to help detect possible delays or other health concerns that can affect healthy development. Early intervention is the key to school readiness and success throughout life.