Tips and Tools
Parents as Teachers recently updated the Personal Visit Record along with the Guidance for Using the Personal Visit Record. Both of these updated forms can be found in the fillable forms section of the online curriculum. These forms were updated to stay consistent with the online versions available through Penelope. Electronic data management is the preferred method for documenting services and tracking information. Penelope is the Parents as Teachers web-based recordkeeping and service delivery tracking system. Penelope is a benefit of affiliation for all Parents as Teachers affiliates. In addition to the updated PVR, sections of the Toolkit were updated to better support your work with families.
The card with the five Parenting Behaviors now has a red top. The eight Toolkit cards in the third section with teal tops are informational about the Developmental Topics within the Development-Centered Parenting area of emphasis. They were recently revised to contain key points of knowledge that all families should be exposed to during the course of a year. The messaging around them is individualized for each family by the parent educator. The two Family Well-Being cards with green tops are informational and have also been revised to share key points of knowledge with families. Parent educators will individualize the messaging around them as they reflect on the child’s development and the family’s needs and goals.
Model Implementation Guide Goes Digital for Parent Educators
Every year, Parents as Teachers updates the Model Implementation Guide (MIG) to reflect best practices and emerging research from the field. The most up to date version of the MIG has always been available on the ePortal to affiliate supervisors and we are now making it available to all Model Certified parent educators as well! Watch the online curriculum page (login-required) of the ePortal for more information.
Parents as Teachers APR Infographic Available for Your Affiliate
A New APR Infographic Template is now available for Affiliates to use for sharing their program report data. This could be a great visual for sharing with stakeholders in your community about the families you serve and the services you provide.
The instructions for creating your APR infographic are available under Affiliate Administrator >Quality>APR Portal, at the bottom under “Helpful Documents.” Create a 2015-2016 APR 2pgr & Infographic Affiliate Version. Please contact Michael Sophir at MichaelSophir@parentsasteachers.org if you have any questions regarding the infographic templates.
Gateways Registry Professional Development Record
Home visitors, including Parents as Teachers parent educators need to register on the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Gateways to Opportunities professional development registry. To get registered go to Gateways. The Gateways Registry Professional Development Record (PDR) is a benefit available to all Registry Members. It can be accessed by logging in to the Registry Member’s section of the website and going to the Registry Center.
Supervisors can check Parent Educator Certification Status
If you are a supervisor with administrative access to your Affiliate in the PAT Portal you can check the status of certification for all of your staff. The affiliate administrator can log into the portal with their own account information; select My Tools >Affiliate Administrator >Employees. Here you will see a chart reflecting information on your program employee’s name, member type, dues paid thru, email and job title. (This is also where you can remove employees who are no longer employed by your affiliate.)
How to Add a New Employee to an Affiliate
To add a new employee to your affiliate they must have an individual account in the eBusiness portal. If they are new to Parents as Teachers they will need to create a new user in the portal. The affiliate administrator will need the email address used to create the account to connect it to the affiliate in the system. The affiliate administrator can log into the portal with their own account information; select My Tools >Affiliate Administrator >Employees. Here you can see a current list of employees for the affiliate. (You may also remove employees no longer with your affiliate from this screen.)
To add the new employee enter their email address in the search box at the bottom of the page. Once the system recognizes the email address, click “yes”. This employee is now added to your Employee List and is able to register for classes. The new employee must log back into the eBusiness portal where they will now be able to see a complete listing of upcoming classes.
The affiliate administrator has the ability to register and pay for multiple people for the same training through the “group registration” tab.
Three new reports are now available for Penelope users:
- Family Demographic Summary lists characteristics of families served during the reporting period. A summary table at the end calculates totals and averages across families.
- Summary Statistics provides information on families served and services provided during the reporting period.
- Service Alerts identifies essential requirements that may warrant follow-up
The first two include the option to download detailed data in a CSV file that can be opened in Excel or other spreadsheet programs. This can be a great way to look for missing or incorrect information, or further manipulate the data. The Family Demographics report now includes family addresses that could be used to create mailing labels.
Renewing Parent Educator Certification
The current price for a model certified renewal for the 2016-2017 program year is $150. The annual cycle for a Model Certified Parent Educator subscription is October 1 – September 30. If you have first-time parent educator renewals, you may have a prorated payment until these individuals are on the annual renewal cycle.
When renewing a Model Certified Subscription, you will be asked to confirm that you have completed the Professional Development Hours required for renewal, and to update your ethical agreement. Once you have indicated that you have completed the required PD hours and your ethical agreement is up to date, you will be directed to your shopping cart. The shopping cart will show your renewal cost. You will have two options for payment: credit card or purchase order. A list of parent educators’ due dates and status for renewal is provided to Program Supervisors in the ebiz portal: My Tools >Affiliate Administrator > Employees.
Tips for Helping Families during Trauma Available Online
You have extra responsibilities when visiting parents where trauma has occurred in the family, community or nation. You may find yourself being asked questions or presented with new situations that are challenging to handle or far outside the scope of a regular personal visit. Here are some general tips to help you better support your families and guide them during troubling times, along with suggestions for relevant activities in the PAT curricula you can use to help families.
Here are some general guidelines for parent educators to support the work you do with families during times of trauma. These tips will help you tailor your personal home visits and also help you cope with your own feelings about the situation.
Children feel safe and secure when they know what to expect. When working with families during stressful times, it’s important to remind parents that keeping family routines as consistent as possible is key.
As a parent educator, you also have online access to all the relevant resources already included in the Foundational Curriculum that focus on:
- Social-emotional development
- Parent or child stress
- Media exposure
- Aggressive play
- Modeling behaviors
- Transitions and routines
Here is a handout designed for families. It also includes links to a few helpful websites to help children cope with traumatic situations.
PAT Affiliate Certificate
Would you like a printable certificate reflecting your PAT affiliate status? Affiliates in good standing can access this certificate by logging into the eBusiness portal and going to My Tools > Affiliate Administrator > Print Affiliate Certificates.
Affiliate Administrator Access to PAT Fillable Forms
Affiliate administrators now have access to PAT fillable forms outside of the online curriculum by logging into the eBusiness portal and going to My Tools > Affiliate Administrator > Fillable Forms.
Parent Pages can be shared with families as a supplement to the Foundational Curriculum. They are also great to use during Group Connections. There are a wide variety of topics addressed in both English and Spanish. To access them, log into the eBusiness portal and go to My Tools > Online Curriculum > Parent Pages.
Parents as Teachers Blueprint
If you have more than five parent educators, there are a couple options for using the Parents as Teachers (PAT) Blueprint.
The Excel version of the Blueprint is easier to adapt (add cells, columns, etc.) as needed. If you use the fillable forms version, it is recommended that you download two or more copies of the blueprint in order to accommodate the number of parent educators working in the program.
PAT Fillable Forms
Having trouble saving PAT fillable forms? Please review How to Use Fillable Forms. You might need to update to Adobe Reader 11.
PAT Quality Assurance Guidelines
The January 2014 updated version of the Parents as Teachers Quality Assurance Guidelines includes some very useful information, such as a sample participation agreement (Appendix F), sample supervisor and parent educator job descriptions (Appendix D), service documentation and data collection – what to record (Appendix I), etc. We recommend you review this updated document for important quality implementation guidance.