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Parents as Teachers (PAT)®

Meets HHS criteria for an evidenced based model

Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2017


Theoretical Model

The theory of change for the PAT model is that affecting parenting knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and family well-being impacts the child’s developmental trajectory.

The overall PAT model is grounded in Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Human Ecology Theory and Family Systems Theory. The home visits focus on three areas of emphasis—parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting, and family well-being. PAT is informed by additional theories including developmental parenting, attribution theory, and self-efficacy theory.


Model Components

The PAT model has four components that all affiliates are required to provide: (1) one-on-one personal (or home) visits, (2) group connections (or meetings), (3) health and developmental screenings for children, and (4) linkages and connections for families to needed resources.


Target Population

PAT affiliates select the specific characteristics and eligibility criteria of the target population they plan to serve. Such eligibility criteria might include children with special needs, families at risk for child abuse, income-based criteria, teen parents, first-time parents, immigrant families, low literate families, or parents with mental health or substance use issues.

The PAT model is designed to serve families throughout pregnancy through kindergarten entry. Families can enroll at any point along this continuum. Curriculum materials provide resources to continue services through the kindergarten year if an affiliate wants to do so.


Where to Find Out More

Parents as Teachers National Center
2228 Ball Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
Telephone: 314-432-4330
Toll-free telephone: 1-866-728-4968
Fax: 314-432-8963