Ounce Institute PAT Technical Assistance and Training Specialist Open Positions
The Ounce Institute is currently searching for qualified candidates to fill two Technical Assistance and Training Specialist positions. Qualified applicants will have home visiting experience with expertise in the Parents as Teachers model preferred. We are searching for qualified candidates throughout Illinois. For more information please access the job description on the Ounce website.
New Technical Assistance Brief: Family Engagement and Exit Guidance
The Parents as Teachers Affiliate Updates, found under Model on the updated PAT website and in the Supervisors handbook, will soon include the newest technical assistance brief to assist programs in developing family engagement policies and procedures, as well as exit policies and procedures.
Affiliates are strongly encouraged to develop a family engagement and exit policy and outline procedures to provide guidance to parent educators for engaging families by detailing the steps parent educators should take if they lose contact with an enrolled family. The family engagement and exit policy and procedures should support parent educators and supervisors in promoting families’ consistent participation in services and ensuring consistent, high quality Parents as Teachers services across the affiliate.
Cohort 3 Quality Endorsement
Parents as Teachers Affiliates who will begin the Quality Endorsement and Program Improvement Process (QEIP) through National Center as part of Cohort 3 should have received a notice in January, 2017. Cohort 3 will include those programs in Illinois that went through the first year pilot of the Quality Endorsement Process. Many tools have been added to assist with the QEIP process including access to new videos and companion materials that are available to supervisors through the eBusiness portal. Please login to your PAT portal to access the video series through the Quick Links on the left hand side of the Supervisor’s Handbook.
Early Childhood Advocacy Day
Please join us on Tuesday May 9, 2017 at The State House Inn, 101 E. Adams St. Springfield, IL 62701, for Early Childhood Advocacy Day. At a time when Illinois is facing budget shortfalls and challenging decisions, it’s critical to remind legislators of the importance of early learning programs. Early Childhood Advocacy Day is a chance to talk to your legislators in person in Springfield – Learn More.
PAT Affiliates Named Blue Ribbon Quality Endorsed Sites
Congratulations to these three outstanding Illinois Affiliates recently named Blue Ribbon Affiliates in Cohort 1!
- Peoria County Bright Futures
- Right Steps Family Center
- Wayne County Family Enrichment Program
These affiliates received their award letter in October after completing the Quality Endorsement and Program Improvement Process through the National Center. PAT affiliates are required to engage in the Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process in their 4th year of implementation and every five years thereafter. We applaud your hard work and program improvements made throughout the Quality Endorsement process.
Ounce of Prevention Fund Technical Assistance Specialists are available to support PAT programs going through the Quality Endorsement Process. Please reach out to your TA, Ariel Chaidez, Barb Terhall, or Chris Nation to access resources and enhance implementation support. In addition, programs going through the Quality Endorsement process now have access to new videos and companion materials that are available to supervisors through the eBusiness portal.
Each summer, a group of affiliates (a cohort) begin the process; cohort 2 began this past summer. If you are selected for cohort 3, Parents as Teachers National Center will notify you in January and you will begin summer 2017. You can also volunteer for cohort 3 by contacting Lindsay Fondow, manager, quality and improvement, at email@example.com.
QEIP Video Series
The Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process (QEIP) Video Series has been designed to help you and your affiliate be successful in understanding and participating in the QEIP, and to help you meet the quality standards so that you can be a Parents as Teachers Blue Ribbon Affiliate. The video series can be accessed by the supervisor under My Tools>Affiliate Administrator>Quality>Quality Endorsement Process>Resources.
In addition to the videos themselves, there are companion materials designed to extend and deepen the learning provided by the videos. The QEIP Video Series Companion Materials offer discussion questions and prompts for reflection so that you can – individually and in groups- consider how the information applies to you and your affiliate. They also provide a guide for and a place to record next steps for your affiliate. In many cases, the videos will be viewed together – in a staff meeting, a workshop or a learning community for example. The QEIP Video Series Companion Materials will work well in this type of setting and meetings or sessions can be built around the videos and companion materials. PATNC recommends watching the videos in order.
Participation in the Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process earns parent educators the professional development hours required for the following year’s certification renewal. This enables affiliates to use time typically set aside for professional development toward completing the affiliate self-study.
Ounce Webinar Trainings Free for Prevention Initiative Programs
Achieve OnDemand, the Ounce of Prevention Fund national online home visiting professional development resource, will be hosting a series of live facilitated webinars this fall. Each of these webinars are designed to provide focused content and facilitated discussion on a variety of topics as they relate to the realities and practical application of home visiting. The webinars will be facilitated by experienced home visiting professionals. Participants will also have access to the recorded sessions via the Achieve OnDemand system. To register login to the Ounce Institute.
- The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children – Wednesday, November 9
- Maintaining Boundaries in Home Visiting for Supervisors – Wednesday, November 16
- Exploring Values and Beliefs Around Parenting – Wednesday, November 30
- Trauma in Families and Communities – Monday, December 5
Achieve OnDemand will also be hosting a series of live facilitated webinars between January and March. The spring webinars will include:
- Home Visiting Safety – Tuesday, January 10
- Domestic Violence: Safety Planning – Monday, January 23
- Home Visiting Boundaries – Tuesday, February 7
- Trauma for Supervisors: Putting the Pieces Together – Thursday, February 9
- Understanding Substance Abuse through the Family Lens – Date TBA
These webinars will be available to CPS, DHS, ISBE and MIECHV funded programs for free. The webinars will be open to non-funded programs at a rate of $25.00 per webinar.
Reflective Supervision: A Toolkit for Support and Guidance
A collection of resources designed to support Parents as Teachers affiliate supervisors in providing high quality reflective supervision to parent educators is now available. Supervisors are not required to use it, but they should because it’s a great resource! 80+ pilot sites provided feedback over 9 months to help make the Reflective Supervision Toolkit user-friendly. To request your copy of a downloadable pdf, email ReflectiveSupervision@parentsasteachers.org beginning November 15, 2016. At this time only an electronic version is available to those not attending a full-day orientation session. The resources in the toolkit will include:
- REFLECT Framework: Written resources to help supervisors develop specific reflective skills
- 10 Reflective Supervision Foundational Plans to provide structure to sessions, create a rhythm for reflective time together and build a trusting relationship
- Reflective Supervision Plan and Record for planning and recording reflective supervision
Access to the Reflective Supervision Toolkit is a benefit of affiliation and only available to affiliate supervisors. The toolkit is available as a pdf for download. When you sign up to download the toolkit, you will receive a link to an introductory webinar on implementing the toolkit.
This tool will help you meet Parents as Teachers model fidelity, deepen relationships with your staff, and improve services to families. It should look familiar; the Reflective Supervision Foundational Plans and the Reflective Supervision Plan and Record have a similar look and feel to the Foundational Plans. Whether you are an experienced supervisor, or just beginning, the toolkit has guidance for sharpening reflective skills and shaping your reflective supervision sessions.
Parents as Teachers: Supporting Children with Special Needs
Parents as Teachers has just released their updated curriculum for working with families of children with special needs – Interactions Across Abilities: Supporting Families of Children With Special Needs. The two-day Interactions Across Abilities training enhances the use of the curriculum by providing an overview of the contents and practice navigating within the curriculum. In addition, the training promotes opportunities to apply the professional resources, parent handouts, and activity pages to current practice.
The curriculum can be purchased separately as a USB drive with Toolkit cards, as a Digital download with printable Toolkit cards or with training as a curriculum bundle that includes the USB drive and Toolkit cards. This opportunity for parent educators, early interventionists and early education providers offers:
- Support for parenting behaviors that strengthen relationships within families.
- Suggestions for promoting parent-child interactions and fostering development through play.
- Strategies for making adaptations that increase a child’s participation in preferred activities, daily routines and interactions.
- Techniques to effectively communicate and collaborate with other practitioners and caregivers.
- Information on diagnoses, conditions and disabilities.
- Guidance on recognizing and responding to developmental red flags, including how and when to make a referral.
- Updates on early intervention law and access to educational opportunities.
The training is an opportunity to network and collaborate with many other family support professionals. It also offers:
- Strategies for sharing sensitive information with families and walking them through the referral process.
- Updates on early intervention and an introduction to specific interventions.
- An approach for adapting a child’s environment to increase participation in play, interactions and everyday family routines.
Affiliate Success Plans for Provisional Affiliates
Parents as Teachers National Center will be contacting all Illinois affiliates this fall to notify them of their Affiliate Status based on program information submitted through the end-of-the year reporting. If an existing affiliate did not meet all of the Essential Requirements they will need to write a Success Plan to address areas not meeting model fidelity. Affiliates that fall into a Provisional Status will receive a link to submit their success plan to PATNC via the web. The success plan will be due back to PATNC within 30 days of the date of the email. You will be able to save your success plan as a pdf document and print it. You may reach out to your Ounce technical assistant to get a copy of an Essential Requirements Success Plan Worksheet.
Available Online through Ounce Institute
The Illinois Early Learning Guidelines is our state’s primary resource on Birth to Three developmental standards and should be integrated into every program. This web-based training experience will give home visitors/parent educators a thorough orientation to the Guidelines, as well as practical advice on how to best use them to enhance their practice with parents. The training will help providers to be better prepared for intentional, developmentally oriented interactions with parents to increase their understanding of child development.
The content in this course will address the history, purpose and role of the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines; aid providers to develop a working knowledge of the IELG and provide resources for the implementation of the IELG in home visiting. This content will further support providers to adopt a practical approach in order to apply that knowledge to their daily, routine work with families, and to use the IELG as their primary child development resource for 0-3. To register, please use your login to the Ounce Institute website: www.theounce.org/ilpd.
Parents as Teachers Budget Toolkit
Parents as Teachers has developed three Sample Budgets in an effort to assist programs designing an affiliate budget. These three budgets include narrative explaining the budget numbers and represent some of the various real-world scenarios of Parents as Teachers affiliates in the field. New affiliates can use these sample fictional budgets as a starting off point or for ideas on tying together the Essential Requirements, the Quality Standards, stakeholder and community needs with their Parents as Teachers budget. Existing affiliates might use these in determining costs for expansion or on-going services in grant proposals.
Please note that these budgets are based off information current as of June 2016. The toolkits are not available on the PAT website at this time, but should be added very soon. At this time please follow up with your technical assistance specialist if you need a copy. The Parents as Teachers website does offer a fill-in Excel budgeting tool available on the public site. Go to: Training and Curriculum>Model Implementation> Becoming an Affiliate> There you will find the Affiliate Reflection, Budgeting Tool, and Affiliate Plan. Learn More.
Updated PAT Quality Assurance Guidelines
The Quality Assurance Guidelines were updated in May, 2016. The QA guidelines provide detailed information on how to design, develop, and implement PAT services. Quality Assurance Guidelines can be located in the Supervisors Handbook on the PAT portal or on the public site under Results> Fidelity and Quality
Some notable QA updates are bulleted. For more details please review the Quality Assurance Guidelines.
- Information about additional benefits of being a PAT affiliate (p.3)
- A new computer icon to highlight documentation and recordkeeping that PAT affiliates must maintain, along with additional information about necessary documentation (p.5 and throughout)
- Clarification that group consultation is only an option to meet the reflective supervision requirement for supervisors that carry a caseload (not parent educators) (p.15)
- Further information about what it means to connect families that must be placed on a waiting list or who are not eligible for services to appropriate resources at the time of intake (p.19)
- Monitoring and addressing visit and group participation rates at the individual family level and program level (p. 19)
- Clarification of the purpose of family-centered assessment and meaning of “completion” (p.21)
- Elaboration on addressing all three areas of emphasis during a visit, including when addressing families’ immediate needs or in a crisis situation (p.23)
- Additional detail regarding what is necessary to meet the hearing and vision review requirement (p.29)
- Measurement criteria for the supervision and staff meeting essential requirement adjusted in correspondence with the APR (p. 38)
Building a Strong Affiliate Advisory Committee Toolkit
A new Advocacy tool that focuses on quality in your PAT Advisory Committee is now available on the Parents as Teachers public website under Advocacy>Affiliate Advocacy Tools.
A strong and effective advisory committee is not just another requirement that must be met to be an Affiliate, but it is a fundamental part of what makes a Parents as Teachers Affiliate successful. Holding regular meetings with an advisory committee can strengthen program operations, sustainability and help Parents as Teachers Affiliates provide the highest quality services to families.
The toolkit will help you:
- Learn the benefits of a well-functioning Affiliate Advisory Committee
- Understand the role of an Affiliate Advisory Committee: function and form
- Review the Essential Requirements and Quality Standards for an Affiliate Advisory Committee
- Understand the role of organizational leadership in establishing the committee
- Identify the steps for getting a committee off the ground
- Know the three areas of advisory focus: quality, operations, and program advancement
- Find ideas for enhancing the committee’s advisory roles
- Access links to additional resources and sample documents to support a committee
Comprehensive Map of Illinois Home Visiting Programs
The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (OECD) is happy to announce the launch of their new website http://www.igrowillinois.org/. Igrow is the Illinois symbol for quality Evidence based home visiting services to expectant parents and families with new babies in Illinois. The website will serve as a resource for Illinois parents and for all home visiting programs regardless of funding stream or model.
For the first time ever, igrow Illinois has provided a comprehensive map of all home visiting programs across the state but we need your help verifying the accuracy of the map and keeping it updated. Here is what home visiting programs in Illinois need to do:
- Go to http://www.igrowillinois.org/parents/find-a-home-visiting-program/ and use the map to find your program.
- Review the information on your program and email firstname.lastname@example.org to request any edits to the content.
Home Visitors Become Part of Gateways to Opportunity Registry
Illinois is committed to a more integrated system of early childhood education. One part of this commitment is including Home Visiting programs in Gateways to Opportunity, the statewide professional development system designed to guide, recognize and encourage professionals who serve children and families in any capacity. In an effort to unify the early childhood workforce in Illinois and recognize the efforts of educators in their many forms, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development is requiring all MIECHV-funded Home Visitors to join the Gateways to Opportunity Registry by September 30, 2015. Gateways to Opportunity is a secure registry where individuals and providers can track and access education, continuing professional development and training thanks to a convenient and fast tracking process for many trainings throughout the State, including those sponsored by the Ounce and other major organizations. While Home Visiting programs under MIECHV’s umbrella are required to join the registry, any providers in the State who attend professional development are strongly encouraged to join to take advantage of its simple and effective way of tracking excellence in a variety of forms.
Participation Agreement and Consent for Services
Parents as Teachers (PAT) now has a fillable Participation Agreement and Consent for Services form that outlines the services PAT affiliates will provide, as well as the rights and responsibilities of families receiving those services. The form includes a specific consent from families for file reviews by an affiliate’s TA provider and as part of the PAT Quality Endorsement and Improvement process. Your program may edit the fillable form to include language that matches the data sharing that your affiliate participates in for endorsement, evaluation, technical assistance and/or funding. PAT believes that much of the success of an evidence-based model is built on the relationships and partnerships parent educators have with families. One of the guiding principles of the PAT model is that family participation is voluntary. We realize that when families choose to participate, they are more successful. Providing a participation agreement and consent for services helps build trust with the family. Confidentiality is key to trust and it is important that we are clear with families about what confidentiality covers, including when we must share information as mandated reporters. For more information and guidance about using a Participation Agreement and Consent Form or to download the form please see TA Brief #10.
Parents as Teachers Technical Assistance Briefs and Updates
TA Brief #9: Protocols – Assists PAT affiliates meet Infrastructure and Leadership Quality Standard #7. TA Brief #8: Implementing the Essential Requirements with Fidelity – Assists PAT Affiliates with understanding what it means to implement the PAT essential requirements with fidelity. TA Brief #7: Policies and Procedures – Guides affiliates in developing and refining policies and procedures in accordance with the PAT quality standards. TA Brief #6: Establishing and Adjusting Caseload Size – Provides information about the optimal number of visits conducted by a parent educator each month. TA Brief #5: Using the PAT Parent Satisfaction Survey and Parenting Reflection with Families – Assists PAT Affiliates with understanding how to use the Parent Satisfaction Survey and the Parent Reflection with families they serve. TA Brief #4: Developing a Continuous Quality Improvement Plan – Assists PAT Affiliates with meeting quality standard #4 in Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement. Quality Endorsement Update – May 2014 – Provides a brief summary of the quality endorsement process. Instructional click-by-click webinar on removing staff from your program