Unpaid Internship/Practicum: Parents as Teachers Research and Evaluation

Parent as Teachers is an evidence-based parent education and family engagement home visiting model serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten. Parents as Teachers has almost 1,400 affiliate organizations in the United States providing home visiting services to families and children.

Parents as Teachers offers multiple unpaid internship opportunities for public health and social work graduate students with the Research and Evaluation Department at the PAT National Center in St. Louis (PATNC). PAT not only focuses on enhancing child development but the wellness of the child and the entire family. A sample of projects that interns may assist with are below.  


Documenting and Disseminating Evidence

Evaluation and research is being done on PAT programs throughout the world. The Research and Evaluation Team is in the process of gathering published and unpublished outcomes of PAT programs. This information is being used to create an evidence inventory that is available to all researchers and practitioners at PATNC. The collected evidence will be used to create PAT fact sheets and promotional materials that can encourage growth of PAT programs and provide educational information to parent educators and the families served by PAT. An intern working on this project will help review new evidence that comes out, input that evidence into the evidence inventory and assist with the development of fact sheets. 

Outcomes Evaluation Field Test

Over 60 PAT affiliates around the US are taking part in a pilot, in which they are asked to collect and share specific types of program outcomes including parenting interaction, parenting protective factors, prenatal visits, adult depression, kindergarten/school readiness and well child visits. The field test is being conducted over a year and is designed to understand the process for collecting and reporting outcomes data at the local level. An intern working on this project may help provide data collection and transfer technical assistance to local affiliates taking part in the field test, clean and prepare data for data analysis, and assist with data analysis as PATNC will receive outcome data from all participating affiliates.  

Right from the Start Program and Evaluation

The Right from the Start Program (RFS) is a federally funded direct service program that is being managed out of PATNC. It is one of only 3 programs that are being implemented by the National Center and not local affiliates.  RFS provides home visits and group activities to teen parents in north St. Louis City and County who are either living in private residences or shelters. PATNC along with the University of Missouri are working together to develop an evaluation for RFS. Much evaluation work is still left to conclude. An intern working on this project will help determine the correct measures to be used to evaluate this program; methods and data collection strategies to be used for the evaluation; as well as data collection, entry and management. 

Healthy Tomorrows Program and Evaluation and Health Care Integration Committee at PAT

One of the initiatives here at PATNC is our Health Care Integration Initiative (HCI). A number of PAT programs are funded through local and/or federal government health programs. PATNC would like to continue to make inroads into the health care system to increase their access to funding but also improve the health related outcomes of PAT families. The initiative is currently spearheaded by a committee within PATNC. The HCI committee is playing an important part in the 

Healthy Tomorrows project in Springfield, MO in which the Springfield Public Schools PAT and PATNC have been funded to house parent educators in hospitals and pediatric clinics in the Springfield area. An intern with this initiative will assist the HCI committee with needs such as literature reviews and help design and implement the Healthy Tomorrows program evaluation. 

Normandy PAT

The Normandy Healthy Start program is the second direct service project being managed from PATNC. The Normandy program will provide standard PAT services to those families in Normandy; however there will be a focus on screening for parental depression, linking those with parental depression to providers and following up after the referrals are made. An intern working with this project will help with the project implementation including facilitating training for screening and referrals, assisting with the building of a network of mental health providers that work closely with PAT, helping in the development of an evaluation design as well as assisting with evaluation data collection.

Summary of Internship Responsibilities

Interns can work on any combination of the above mentioned projects depending on the interest of the intern and the available workload. A summary of possible intern responsibilities are below.

Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct literature and evidence reviews on the impact of home visiting models both specific to Parents as Teachers and general to the field and document themes and outcomes related to parenting practice, parent-child interaction, child development, family engagement, community engagement, and more
  • Provide data collection and evaluation technical assistance to affiliates
  • Data collection, entry and management
  • Assist with analyzing and summarizing data
  • Dissemination products such as reports, fact sheets, and presentations 

Education and/or Experience: Enrolled in a Master’s program for social work, public health, psychology, or education.

Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to analyze, synthesize, and summarize information accurately and clearly. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should have proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and knowledge of SPSS desired but not required.

Contact Keri Jupka at with questions.