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Federal Grant Enables Parents as Teachers in Maine

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Parent educators are trained to address issues such as teen parents and poverty which if left unresolved often lead to domestic violence, child abuse, and high school dropouts.

SAINT LOUIS, MO, July 30, 2011 -- The Maine Office of Child and Family Services will receive $1 million in federal grants allocated for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) in fiscal 2011. The grant will be used to expand Parents as Teachers services to families in Piscataquis, Penobscot, Washington, Aroostook, Kennebec, and Somerset counties.

The federal MIECHV program is designed to strengthen and improve programs, coordination of services and improve outcomes for at-risk communities through home visiting programs. Parents as Teachers, the nation’s largest network of home visiting programs, has been improving outcomes for families nationwide for more than 25 years. The Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting model is one of just eight models approved for use under the federal guidelines for MIECHV.

“We will be able to extend our reach out to more vulnerable families in our communities,” said Sheryl Peavey, Director of Maine’s Early Childhood Initiative. “We are going to augment the specialized professional development of our home visitors to better serve those communities by increasing training for such issues as substance abuse and domestic violence.”

Last year in Maine, more than 2,800 children participated in the statewide network of Parents as Teachers programs, known locally as Maine Families. More than 70 percent of them faced family risk factors that Parents as Teachers parent educators are trained to address, such as teen parents and poverty, issues which, if left unresolved often lead to domestic violence, child abuse, and high school dropouts. Parents as Teachers parent educators provide well-researched information to help families make good parenting decisions. They screen children for developmental issues and connect families to each other as well as to community resources.

“Parents as Teachers is a partnership with families,” Peavey said. “Every family faces challenges when parenting, but having a consistent curriculum and a consistent high quality set of standards helps ensure that the work we do supports not only child health and development, but also parent health and confidence.”

About Parents as Teachers
Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Parents as Teachers champions the critical role of parental involvement and early intervention in a child’s development. Parents as Teachers supports a network of professionals and organizations who serve more than 300,000 families across the country and around the world through a proven parent education model.

National Center for Parents as Teachers
Pat Simpson
314-432-4330 +283
pat.simpson@parentsasteachers.org
www.parentsasteachers.org

 

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