Parents as Teachers
If you have raised a child in Gallatin County, you may have been told about our Public Health Home Visitation program. Through this, new families can be visited by a public health nurse for help with breastfeeding and playing with or interacting with their new baby.
But how exactly do the nurses structure the home visits?
Our public health nurses follow a framework called Parents as Teachers (PAT), a model that has been successfully used by organizations all over the country to support families and children in strengthening the parent-child bond, ensuring proper child development, and making sure that parents have the tools and resources they need to make sure their new family thrives.
Using the PAT framework, each home visit with families contains an activity focusing on three main focus areas:
- Family well-being
- Parent and child interaction
- Child physical, mental, and neurological development
Any supplies needed for each activity are provided by the Gallatin City County Health Department. Families also receive a free book at each home visit, to encourage families to read together every day, along with a handout of the day’s activity and education about that day’s topic.
Daily topics and activities are designed according to the child’s age and stage of development. Because we understand that not all children develop at the same rate, we tailor the activities to fit the child’s current needs.
During the home visit, parents have the opportunity to discuss challenges or struggles they may be facing. Our home visiting nurses can help with all sorts of problems relating to parenting and child development, and they’re there to help!
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the home visiting program:
How long can I receive assistance from home visiting nurses?
We offer our home visitation services for families with children from conception up to 5 years old.
Is there an eligibility requirement?
No. Parents of all education levels, income levels, family structures, etc. can utilize home visitation services. In fact, we encourage it, especially if you are a first-time parent!
Is there a parental age requirement?
No. Parents of all ages are encouraged to use our home visitation services!
Can you work with children with disabilities?
Yes! Even if you are already working with a therapist on physical, speech, or occupational therapy, we can still offer our home visitation services and follow the PAT framework.
Do I get to keep the book?
Absolutely! We think it’s essential that parents read to children every night, and we want to equip you with everything you need to make this possible.
Where can I go to learn more about the Parents as Teachers curriculum?