SHOW ME STRONG FAMILIES
In late 2014, Parents as Teachers National Center was invited to partner with the Normandy Schools Collaborative (NSC) to restart their Parents as Teachers program as the school was working towards re-accreditation. Since then, and thanks to additional public and private funding, the Show Me Strong Families initiative has served hundreds of families and children through personal visits in their homes and screenings.
Parents as Teachers home visitors work with families to promote parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children to strengthen protective factors. As a result, parents report they feel less stressed, more motivated to try new parenting strategies, better able to understand their child’s development, more likely to read with their child, and that their relationship with their child is stronger.
The program serves families living in some of the most distressed communities in the city of St. Louis and north St. Louis County. Ninety percent of the families served are African American and most are low income. Almost half are teen parents, one third are homeless, and one quarter have low educational attainment. Eighty-one percent of families served have two or more high needs characteristics such as substance abuse, parent with a disability, domestic violence, mental health issues, or having an incarcerated parent. Many of the teens are living in shelters (homeless or domestic violence) or in transitional housing. Many of the caregivers served are dads or grandparents. Three of the parent educators are multi-lingual and all reflect the community served.
Despite unimaginable stresses and challenges, these parents and caregivers demonstrate resilience, a commitment to their children’s welfare, a passion for being the best parents, and a love without compare.
The Show Me Strong Families team of dedicated staff meet these families where they are: in the home, at the library, in the park, at the Early Childhood Center or wherever the family is most comfortable. The families, and SMSF parent educators and staff, do whatever is needed to ensure success.
Show Me Strong Families is supported by a mix of public and private funding.
This web page is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), grant # X10MC32201, as part of an award totaling $3,906,090.00 with 0% percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.