Implementing Parents as Teachers (PAT)® Meets HHS Criteria

Model implementation summary last updated: 2019

The information in this implementation report reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the manuscripts reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about any research on the effectiveness of the model, including any version(s) of the model with effectiveness research. Versions of the model that are described in the Adaptations and enhancements section of this implementation report may include (1) versions that were identified by the model’s developer and (2) versions that have been implemented by researchers and have manuscripts that HomVEE rated high or moderate, but that are not supported by the model’s developer.

Prerequisites for implementation

Type of implementing program

Parents as Teachers affiliates frequently are embedded within an existing organization or program, such as Title I school districts, county health departments, Family Resource Centers, and other state and nonprofit agencies.
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Staffing requirements

Parents as Teachers model affiliates have two primary staff positions: (1) certified parent educators who provide home visiting services and (2) their affiliate supervisors.

The Parents as Teachers model also recommends that the affiliate identify staff to serve as the data entry specialist and provide administrative support to the parent educators and supervisors.

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Staff education and experience

Parents as Teachers prefers parent educators to have a four-year degree in early childhood education or a related field, or at least either a two-year degree or 60 college hours in early childhood education or a related field. At a minimum, parent educators must have a high school diploma or GED and at least two years of previous supervised work experience with young children, parents, or both.

Supervisors are required to have at least a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, social work, health, psychology or a related field (or equivalent degree); at least five years of experience working with families and young children; strong interpersonal skills; and a commitment to reflective supervision, data collection, and continuous quality improvement.

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Supervision requirements

The Parents as Teachers model requires that, each month, full-time parent educators participate in a minimum of two hours of individual reflective supervision and a minimum of two hours of staff meetings. Parent educators working half time or less are required to participate in a minimum of one hour of reflective supervision and two hours of staff meetings.
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Staff ratio requirements

The Parents as Teachers model requires that a supervisor be assigned not more than 12 parent educators to supervise, regardless of whether the parent educators are full-time or part-time employees.

The Parents as Teachers model also requires that full-time parent educators complete no more than 60 visits per month, with new parent educators (those working for Parents as Teachers less than one year) conducting no more than 48 visits per month. Fifty visits per month is the optimal number to be completed by full-time parent educators in their second year or beyond, and 40 visits per month is the optimal number to be completed by full-time parent educators in their first year. A caseload higher than 50 visits per month is not recommended unless the parent educator does not have all of the typical responsibilities outlined above (for example, the program has additional staff dedicated solely to group connections), when there is minimal or no travel to visits (for example, conducting visits with multiple families within an apartment building), or when there is not a significant data collection burden.

The guidelines for monthly visit completion are based on several factors:

  • The optimal number of visits per month assumes 2.5 hours on average to plan, prepare, travel, conduct the visit, and complete the personal visit record. This leaves time for the other responsibilities of a parent educator. Specifically, parent educators have time allocated for other responsibilities such as recruitment activities, implementation of retention strategies, dedicated time for making up cancelled and missed visits, resource network facilitation and follow-up, and participation in supervision sessions and staff meetings.
  • Parent educators have time allocated for planning, organizing, and participating in group connections.
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Data systems/technology requirements

The Parents as Teachers National Center has developed and offers a data management system that Parents as Teachers affiliates may use. Affiliates are not required to use the Parents as Teachers system, but affiliates must use a data-tracking or management information system that contains the approved Parents as Teachers records.
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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in October 2019. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the Parents as Teachers National Center in May 2019. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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