Texas Parents as Teachers
As the Texas State Office for Parents as Teachers, we provide training and support for local programs throughout the state to bring educators into homes and help strengthen families.
The Parents as Teachers program is an evidence-based early childhood home visiting model designed to ensure that young children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The program follows a family strengthening approach by promoting positive parenting and building protective factors for families. Services are available from the prenatal period through the kindergarten year.
The Parents as Teachers program has four primary goals:
- Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices
- Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues
- Prevent child abuse and neglect
- Increase children’s school readiness and school success
Certified parent educators provide the following program components to all enrolled families:
- Personal visits - Each visit plan includes a parent-child activity, parenting strategies to promote healthy development, and a focus on family well being. There is also a time for book sharing included in the visit.
- Group connections - Each group connection includes an educational focus on either parent child interactions, developmental parenting, or family well being. These connections also provide time for families to form social bonds and connections, an important protective factor.
- Screenings - Parent educators complete screenings for health, vision, hearing, developmental, and social emotional issues and make referrals, as needed, based on identified concerns or potential delays.
- Connections to community resources - As parent educators work with families, they provide individualized information and support so that families can connect with other resources in the community that may be helpful in addressing their needs and goals.
THE CONNECTION TO MENTAL HEALTH
When babies and young children are in a safe and healthy environment they will explore and learn. These young brains soak up everything around them. If children are exposed to violence of any kind, it stays with them and can have negative emotional and mental ramifications that may not be recognized until the child is older.
The Parents as Teachers program uses screening tools to identify potential early health issues and developmental delays in young children. Parent educators include activities in each visit that help families build protective factors, resilience, and knowledge of community resources when they need help.