Porter-Leath’s Cornerstone Program provides home visitation services and resources through affiliation with the national Parents As Teachers home visiting model, which promotes the optimal early development, learning, and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. In Porter-Leath Cornerstone services can be offered prenatally until children enter kindergarten.
Porter-Leath Cornerstone operates in both Shelby and Fayette Counties and the 10 certified parent educators work with over 200 families each year. Families meet with their parent educator at least twice a month and have the opportunity to attend monthly group connections with other families of young children. The caregiver is able to set measurable goals and is assisted by their parent educator to meet those goals through a combination of monthly lessons, resources and referrals.
Over the past three years, Porter-Leath Cornerstone has worked through the PAT Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process (QEIP) to achieve Blue Ribbon affiliate status - the highest recognition given to local programs. The process helps ensure that PAT affiliates are achieving fidelity to the model and delivering high quality services - truly making a difference in the lives of children and families. As an example of Porter-Leath’s success, last year, over 96% of children born to mothers in Cornerstone had healthy birth weights and 92% of familes were connected to at least one community resource.
The PAT Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process examines both an affiliate’s Annual Performance Review and the affiliate’s ability to meet at least 80% of 81 additional quality standards. It also utilizes quality measurements such as program fiscal sustainability, staff training opportunities, leadership structure and support, detailed documentation of services and a two day site visit from a Parents As Teachers reviewer.
While the Annual Performance Review may measure the number of monthly group connections offered to families, the Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process would also review the types of topics covered at the monthly meetings and how families were able to use the information gained from those connections.
This August, Cornerstone achieved Blue Ribbon affiliate status by not only exceeding the essential requirements found in their Annual Performance Review but by going above and beyond to meet 96% of the quality standards outlined by Parents as Teachers. Cornerstone Director Kimberly Thomas gives credit for this achievement to the quality of her team. “You can see it in their work that they LOVE what they do. You can see it from their actions and from the outcomes that we see for families. I couldn’t ask for a better team,” she said.
Receiving the Parents as Teachers Blue Ribbon affiliate designation further emphasizes Porter-Leath’s commitment to data-driven, evidence based approaches to serving children and families in our community.