Article by The Chronicle of Social Change on recent study that adds more evidence that home visiting can lower the likelihood of maltreatment.
New research published this month in Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal found that the Parents as Teachers® evidence-based home visiting model demonstrates a significant decrease in cases of child maltreatment when home visiting services are delivered through a scaled-up, statewide home visiting program.
The research represents one of the largest studies in the U.S. conducted to investigate the impact of home visiting on child maltreatment, including nearly 8,000 families. Researchers found a 22% decreased likelihood of substantiated cases of child maltreatment as reported by Child Protective Services data when comparing two groups of children born to first-time mothers. Children whose mothers received home visiting were compared to children whose mothers where eligible for home visiting but did not receive the services.
“Parents as Teachers is a family-centered, results-driven approach in our department’s portfolio of programs to support young children and families, particularly those who are overburdened and underserved. A 22% reduction in child abuse cases is a measurable result that proves PAT materially improves lives while also generating cost savings for our state. We’re excited that this new research suggests we should see PAT providers be rewarded for future successes through our newly released ‘rate card’ that pays home visiting providers for outcomes. We support thescaling of high quality services based on evidence and measurable results,” said David Wilkinson, Commissioner of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
Dr. Barbara Chaiyachati, principal investigator on the study, formerly at Yale School of Medicine and current pediatrics resident at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, noted that, “Safe, stable nurturing relationships and environments are essential to prevent child abuse and neglect. This study provides promise that large-scale home visiting programs may be able to prevent child maltreatment, yet more studies are needed to confirm and clarify these findings."
“This study is an important demonstration of the results that can be generated from large-scale implementation of the Parents as Teachers home visiting model. It helps create a clearer picture for communities about which programs work best to build positive interactions between parents and infants and young children,” said Allison Kemner, Vice President of Research and Quality at Parents as Teachers National Center. “Parents as Teachers can stop abuse and neglect before it occurs,” said Kemner.
“Parents as Teachers is designed to work closely with families through a trusting relationship with a trained professional to address critical parenting issues and behaviors that promote protective factors or the conditions that reduce or eliminate risk and promote healthy development and well-being of children,” said Constance Gully, President and CEO of Parents as Teachers National Center. “Our families are dealing with a lot of stressors, including high rates of poverty, maternal depression, opioid abuse, and teen parenting. We are truly humbled that this new research confirms that our home visiting model has such a significant impact on supporting families and children being healthy, safe and ready to learn.”
"As home visiting programs go to scale, states should consider replicating this study using their administrative data and appropriate statistical methods to create a robust comparison group capable of generating rigorous findings regarding the effects of early intervention efforts on child maltreatment rates," said Dr. Deborah Daro, Senior Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Other investigators were John M. Leventhal, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine; Julie R. Gaither, PhD, Instructor of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine; Marcia Hughes, PhD, Research & Evaluation Analyst, Center for Social Research, University of Hartford; and Karen Foley-Schain, MA, MEd, LLC, former Director of the Nurturing Families Network in Connecticut. This study was done in collaboration with two state agencies in Connecticut: the Office of Early Childhood and the Department of Children and Families.
Mackenzie Grayson, former Parents as Teachers participant mom, and now Parents as Teachers Program Supervisor participated on a panel with Jennifer Garner to discuss how evidence-based home visiting and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) helps families thrive!
Joining them were Jessica Nugent, Parents as Teachers State Leader from Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey and Laurel Aparicio, ASTHVI Steering Committee member and director of Early Impact at the Virginia HV Consortium, and Amanda Packman Nurse Family Partnership mom and NYC Outreach Worker. The panel highlighted the success of MIECHV to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and key Hill staff. Jennifer Garner has been a vocal supporter of home visiting with Save the Children.
Noelia Alvarez chosen for the 2017 Jean and Mary Roy Scholarship
Noelia Alvarez, Parent Educator for the Latino Community Development Agency in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was chosen to receive the Jean and Mary Roy Scholarship November 2017. This scholarship provides conference registration and travel expenses to the Parents as Teachers annual international conference for a parent educator from Oklahoma. The scholarship is provided by Steve Roy and Angela Rau, in memory of their parents Jean and Mary Roy, who were both active community advocates.
The annual conference gives attendees the opportunity to spend time with other parent educators, home visitors, community advocates and early childhood educators. They learn from various workshops, keynote speakers and one another, and can return home and use that new knowledge and inspiration to keep their Parents as Teachers programs going strong in their communities.
“She is a dedicated servant helping more than 20 families a month,” states Steven Roy of Alvarez. “We are proud to help her with her desire to participate in the Parents as Teachers national conference.”
The OKC Latino Agency Parents as Teachers group currently serves 103 families and has a waiting list of over 20 families. Funding cuts by the State of Oklahoma have forced them to downsize their participation rate. Roy also stated, “We hope to do more for their efforts in the future. We will challenge local, state and national companies to help agencies like this one who are providing successful and impactful programs, by supporting the Parents as Teachers National program.”
The theme of the conference was Making Connections Matter. “Connections started as soon as you entered the conference,” states Alvarez. Workshops attended focused on ways to partner with parents and also with the resources in their community.
Latino Community Development Agency was established in 1991 as a program of Neighborhood Services Organization. The LCDA came from a proposal of the Neighborhood Services Organization and the Community Council of Central Oklahoma’s joint proposal to the United Way. It was meant to address the needs of the Latino community in Oklahoma County. Future goals include expanding their signature services to clients based in all areas of the city as well as the state. A diversified board of directors oversees the agency operations and several committees assist in the areas of education, economic development, health, mental health and substance abuse prevention, along with communications, development and personnel.
Parents as Teachers® National Center, headquarters of the evidence-based home visiting model, has announced a gift of $100,000 from BJC HealthCare to establish the Susan and Steven Lipstein Show Me Strong Families Fund. The gift was announced in December at BJC HealthCare’s Annual Meeting.
BJC HealthCare made the gift to Parents as Teachers on behalf of Susan and Steven Lipstein to honor Mr. Lipstein’s retirement as Chief Executive Officer of BJC HealthCare and to honor Mrs. Lipstein’s service as a certified Parents as Teachers Parent Educator in the Clayton School District. The gift will establish a fund in perpetuity to improve the health, academic achievement, and overall well-being of children in St. Louis, whose lives are impacted by economic uncertainty and other stressors.
“We’re honored to continuously partner with BJC HealthCare and Susan and Steven Lipstein. We deeply appreciate the commitment of BJC HealthCare to help families thrive,” said Constance Gully, president and CEO of Parents as Teachers National Center.
The Parents as Teachers program is particularly dear to both Steven and Susan. “Home visiting has equipped so many families with critical resources that have allowed them to be successful parents,” Steven Lipstein said. “Susan and I have always believed that when we support parents, they are better able to raise healthy children who are ready and prepared to learn.”
“This investment in Parents as Teachers will establish a fund to further support the Show Me Strong Families PAT affliate that is already transforming the lives of families in some of St. Louis’ most economically distressed neighborhoods,” said June McAllister Fowler, Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs at BJC HealthCare.
Each year, Show Me Strong Families:
- Reaches 225 families with monthly home visits, including 150 teen parent families;
- Screens 600 children for health and developmental delays so that they can be connected early with vital support services in the community; and
- Engages 240 parents in “group connections” – organized sessions where parents come together to learn about child well-being and form a peer support network.
Numerous research studies show that the Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting model improves school readiness, reduces child maltreatment, and enhances parenting skills and parent involvement that leads to better family health and functioning.
“I feel so fortunate to be part of a cause that is proven by research to increase outcomes for families,” Susan Lipstein said. “I’ve seen Parents as Teachers work firsthand. There are few programs that have such an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of children.
Read related articles:
We recently participated in Mediaplanet’s Early Education campaign where we united with likeminded industry leaders to highlight the new tools and technologies that are helping children stay ahead of the learning curve while emphasizing how important the pre-K years are to children’s continued success. The campaign was distributed through USA TODAY on December 22nd, 2017 and is published online. Click here for the Parents as Teachers article.
For the full campaign, visit: http://bit.ly/22yt8RC
For everyone who participated in our Buy and Book, Donate a Book program: WE THANK YOU! Many of you either donated a book or made a monetary donation to the 2017 Parents as Teachers Conference book drive this year through our partnership with First Book. We are thrilled to announce that you helped us raise $2100 through your generosity! The money raised will be used to buy books for children who need them through the Parents as Teachers programs in our host states for this year’s conference: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Thank you again!
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?
Now is the time to SAVE THE DATE for the 2018 Parents as Teachers International Conference, which will be held at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference will be held October 8-11, 2018. We are adding an extra day to bring you even more Pre-Conference sessions and workshops. Watch for more details to come. Call for proposals opens February 8. Registration opens in March.
LOSOS PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE
ARIZONA CHILDREN’S ASSOCIATION
Our affiliate implements home visits that are inclusive of literacy, developmental, sensory, and health screenings, and provide rich resource linkages conducted by certified Parent Educators, that occur bi-weekly or more often as necessary, to engage parents and families. Each home visit is enhanced with a “Brain Nugget” which is a small gift of valuable information that summarizes research on early brain development that ultimately enriches family literacy. Families are also invited to attend one or more Group Connections per month in various locations in each of our counties. Our families receive seamless integration of services throughout Arizona’s Children Association, inclusive of the S.E.N.S.E. programs as initiated through DCS Prevention and implemented with fidelity to the model.
Our agency has a unique and enhanced capacity to implement our program to parents. Our PAT programs encompass four counties in Arizona, Mohave, LaPaz, Yavapai, and Pinal; proudly providing successful home visitation services for over 17 years. AzCA is the oldest and largest not-for-profit child welfare and behavioral health agency in Arizona. For over 100 years, our agency has stayed true to its mission of “Protecting Children, Empowering Youth and Strengthening Families,” serving more than 46,000 children, individuals and families in every county in the state each year. With nearly 40 programs across the state, we are a “one stop shop” for families, providing seamless integration of programs. We are a proven invaluable resource to children who are vulnerable and parents who want to learn.
LOSOS PRIZE FOR INNOVATION
FORSYTH COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
Our PAT affiliate is hosted by Imprints Cares, a non-profit operating in Forsyth County, NC for more than 40 years. We have a vision to unlock the full potential of children and their families for success in school and in life, and a mission to enrich children’s development while supporting their families on the journey of parenthood. We do this with a variety of programs that impact children and families in our community. Our Ready for School program offers a PAT program to model fidelity, and has created a pediatric partnership which offers less intensive services as well. Our Expanded Learning program offers before and after school care at many local schools, and brings in a revenue stream that supports our non-profit activities. We are currently developing the Family and Neighborhood Academy, which is part of the local United Way Place Matters Initiative. In addition, we are active members of many community initiatives working to create positive change in our area.
Our pediatric partnership is integrally connected to our Parents as Teachers program. The program is based at a community health center, the Downtown Health Plaza, sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist Health. We work closely with the pediatricians there, so when they meet with families and recognize there is a need for more help than they can give in the short time they have, they refer them to us. These families may need assistance with breastfeeding, behavior issues, developmental concerns, or other issues. The family then meets with a family educator immediately if possible, sometimes even in the exam room, or she calls them to set up an appointment. If the family only needs short term assistance, such as breastfeeding help, they may have one or two appointments to resolve their concerns. Children with developmental concerns receive a screening and a referral if needed to address the issue. Families that qualify and are interested in participating in our PAT program are referred there. We have expanded this program to two additional pediatric practices.
We have recently added a new component to this program. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has funded our Pediatric Holistic Health Initiative, which has increased the number of families we can serve both non-intensively and with PAT, and it has enabled us to build a partnership with Family Services of Forsyth County to offer on-site mental health counseling to our families. The counselor can work with parents and with children who have mental health needs, and since the programs are so closely connected, this gives the families encouragement and a warm handoff to services that families are sometimes reluctant to access. This service is available to families that are seen non-intensively at the pediatric sites as well as families enrolled in our PAT program.
Imprints Cares is committed to improving the lives of children and families in Forsyth County. We are constantly working to improve our programs and to reach additional families so we can have a positive effect on families and the community. At Imprints Cares, we shift the odds and tip the balance in a child’s favor by strengthening the family.
AURORA SWAIN OF FAMILIES FIRST IN CABARRUS COUNTY, FROM CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
AMY HOFFMAN HAS BEEN REPRESENTING THE FAMILY INC. PARENTS AS TEACHERS PROGRAM SINCE 1999
AMANDA JOHNSON FROM THE HOWE COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER IN GREEN BAY WISCONSIN