From the News

Parents as Teachers Co-Recipient of $1M Early Childhood Innovation Prize

Virtual Screening One Of Top 15 Ideas

On June 22, 2018, Parents as Teachers National Center had their virtual child development screening project selected as one of the Early Childhood Innovation Prize’s “Top Ideas” and will share in $1 million in prize funding from Gary Community Investments. The project was chosen from more than 570 submissions in 100 countries because of its potential to create breakthrough impact for children and families during their first three years of life.


The prize will fund a collaborative project between Parents as Teachers National Center and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Telehealth Clinic to pilot the use of interactive video conferencing to conduct developmental screenings for children. This effort will increase parents’ access to child screenings, inform virtual screening best practices, and produce supports for professionals from various sectors.

Angela Rau

Angela Rou

“We see virtual service delivery to families as a catyalyst, fundamentally transforming the number of families who will access support services,” said Dorian Traube, Associate Professor at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and Director of Parents as Teachers at USC Telehealth. “When ready to bring to scale, professionals focused on delivering high quality services to children and families will be influenced including: early intervention, child welfare, and the military.”

“This innovation will benefit the children that are least likely to receive reliable screenings due to family-level barriers and an underdeveloped early childhood workforce. This project’s sole aim is to provide hard-to-reach children with developmental screening, early and on-time,” says Angela Rau, Virtual Parent Education Specialist. “In Los Angeles alone, 40 percent of parents with children under age six have concerns about their child’s development. Parental concern is widespread, but access to supports is not always equally available. Virtual screening is a new way to address their concerns and provide help.”

Parents as Teachers is the developer of the most widely replicated evidence-based home visiting model in the world, and USC School of Social Work and Telehealth clinic operates the largest online school of social work in the United States providing evidenced-based interventions through a telehealth clinic.

You can learn more about the Parents as Teachers virtual child development screening idea, Parents as Teachers@USC  Early Childhood Innovation Prize’s “Top Ideas”, OpenIDEO prize platform and Gary Community Investments through each link.