Federal Grant Enables Parents as Teachers to Expand in Kansas

More than $162,000 of the federal Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program grant will expand Parents as Teachers services in Montgomery and Wyandotte counties.

St. Louis, MO, August 27, 2011 --(PR.com)-- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Family Health, will receive $936,464 in a Federal Fiscal Year 2010 grant allocated for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). About $162,131 of the grant will be used to expand Parents as Teachers services in Montgomery County in southeast Kansas and Wyandotte County which includes portions of urban Kansas City, Kansas. The Parents as Teachers programs involved are administered by Coffeyville public school district, the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and the Turner public school district. The Parents as Teachers program is administered statewide by the Kansas State Department of Education, a vital partner in this work.

The federal MIECHV program is designed to strengthen and increase program goals, coordinate services and improve outcomes for at-risk communities through early childhood 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 and more than 20 years in Kansas. The Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting model is one of just eight models approved for use under federal guidelines for MIECHV.

“We are taking an approach that builds on multiple evidence-based home visiting programs such as Parents as Teachers that are already in place in each county,” said Dr. Deborah Richardson, Manager of the Kansas Home Visiting Program. “We will be providing additional training to the parent educators to help increase their capacity to identify, address and refer families facing risk factors.”

Last year in Kansas, more than 18,500 children and their families received Parents as Teachers services. Of those, many faced a variety of family risk factors such as low income, teen pregnancy, and involvement with mental and social services, issues Parents as Teachers parent educators are uniquely trained to address. If left unresolved, these issues can quickly escalate and negatively impact young children. Parent educators also provide well-researched information to help all families make good parenting decisions. They screen children for developmental issues and connect families to each other and additional community resources.

“In each of the two counties, there are two different Parents as Teachers program providers participating in the implementation of the Kansas MIECHV program,” Richardson said. “They’ve been very helpful and involved in our planning. Each program will add a new parent educator for this project. We are very excited about this expansion through the grant funding that will benefit more Kansas families.”

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. For more information, visit www.ParentsAsTeachers.org.

National Center for Parents as Teachers
Pat Simpson
314-432-4330 x283