Three year old Janey was a child caught between two parents who seemed unable to agree on the best approach to disciplining her. Not only did the disagreements cause trouble in the relationship between young Janey and her parents, but mounting resentments in daily exchanges between Janey's mother and father were inevitable and painful. Parents as Teachers Home Visitation Parent Educator, worked patiently with the parents, sharing with them the latest research indicating that physical forms of discipline are not always effective, and in some cases psychologically damaging to children. She shared several disciplinary techniques that have been proven to be more effective than physical punishment. At first, Janey's father opposed what he saw as "being soft" on his child. But a breakthrough came one day when Janey's father had a dramatic change of heart: he was reconsidering the use of spanking because he saw his little girl playing with her dolls and mimicking the use of spanking to "discipline" the dolls. Witnessing this behavior in his small daughter saddened and shamed him, impacting him greatly. Janey's father also realized that, in the final analysis, alternative forms of discipline shared by the PAT Parent Educator of Families First were more effective than those he had chosen.

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a national affiliate certified, voluntary home visitation program that works with families with children prenatal through kindergarten.



Referrals can be made prenatal to four years old. The program is designed to keep children in the program for 2+ years. They graduate upon completing kindergarten. Services are available in English and Spanish. PAT serves seven metro counties (Adams, some Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson - many other counties in the state have their own PAT programs).

PAT home visits address:

  • Parent-child interactions
  • Perform family well-being checks
  • Domestic violence screenings
  • Protective factor screenings
  • Developmental screenings
    • hearing, vision, and general health
    • parent/child interaction
    • gross motor skills
    • fine motor skills
    • social skills & development
    • emotional skills & development