Studies Show Effectiveness of Parents as Teachers Approach

photo of woman tutoring young boy

Research briefs highlight successful efforts working with Black, Latinx, and American Indian and Alaskan Native families

ST. LOUIS /PRNewswire/ — Parents as Teachers (PAT), an internationally-recognized leader in the home visiting field, released three briefs from nationwide studies on PAT”s efforts with Black, Latinx, and American Indian and Alaskan Native families, proving the effectiveness of PAT model.

“This research reinforces the importance of providing services in a culturally relevant manner,” said Constance Gully, President and CEO, Parents as Teachers. “We will continue to refine and improve our approach based on the ongoing feedback loops of families’ input, revising our curriculum content and implementation strategies to enhance the cultural relevance and efficacy for all families.”

The research on partnering with Black mothers is a combination of learnings from a study conducted by Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD and her colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis. Latinx and AIAN families research features a review of key literature identifying strategies that improve health and learning outcomes. Key findings include:

  • Latinx clients communicated they had parenting skills, more confidence, and greater knowledge of child development than families not in the PAT program.
  • AIAN families who participated in the FACE program showed several positive outcomes, such as high levels of school readiness for participating children, parent involvement, and literacy activities in the home.
  • Black families were 89% more likely to maintain a normal BMI 12 weeks after birth or improve an overweight/obese BMI by 12 months. Adolescents significantly increased fruit and vegetable intake, while younger teens improved water intake.

Through PAT’s model, parent educators seek to understand the values, customs, and beliefs, which are deeply ingrained starting in childhood through the communities’ culture, heritage, and geography. For parents, they are the basis of decisions related to parenting. When applying these principles, parent educators focus on leveraging the strengths of their communities. The PAT model helps parents establish a stable home environment where they act as attentive caretakers who actively avoid the adverse childhood experiences that are common for BIPOC children.

PAT’s model teaches parent educators to acknowledge, respect, and support the integrity of their clients’ cultures. The model outlines the best strategies to assist parents in understanding the opportunity gaps in their communities and how to close them. For all racial and ethnic groups, PAT parent educators start by recognizing that the life chances and opportunities for most minority children are different from the prevailing culture.

About Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers (PAT) builds strong communities, thriving families, and children that are healthy, safe and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child’s earliest years in life, from pregnancy through kindergarten. The internationally-recognized evidence-based home visiting model is backed by 35 years of research-proven outcomes for children and families. PAT currently serves nearly 200,000 families in all 50 U.S. states, 115 Tribal organizations, six other countries, and one U.S. territory. Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., is a non-profit organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

SOURCE Parents as Teachers

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