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    ACHIEVA's Parenting Education Program

    ACHIEVA's parenting education program, formerly ESPRIT, provides parenting instruction and assistance as well as independent living skills to parents with disabilities. Using a hand-over-hand model, the parenting education program staff guides families towards achieving parenting and independent living goals. The program is a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week program. Staff members are available by phone and in person anytime, for any reason.

    The parenting education program's mission is to develop safe and appropriate families. This endeavor often requires assistance from multiple agencies. The program's first priority will always be the health and safety of the children, while second are the rights and responsibilities of the parent who has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.

    The parenting education program's family and community staff employ a variety of methods to assess and assist a family in achieving their goals. The parenting education program works toward goals created by other agencies as well, such as individual support plans, individualized education plans, individual family support plans and family support plans. Goals are worked on during home visits with the family. The length and frequency of the visits are based on the needs assessment, the program staff's recommendations, parents' requests and service plan recommendations. Home visits consist of a period of time when a family and community staff person works with a parent on a skill relative to independent living, parenting or other specified goals.

    Visits can take place in the home, a doctor's office, school, childcare settings, library or anywhere else that is appropriate. A child does not need to be present for a home visit, but staff visit with the children at least one time per week. Typically, parents have two to five visits per week.

    ACHIEVA has conducted both national and international consultation to teach other agencies how to replicate the parenting education program.

    The parenting education program provides a wide variety of activities to both children and parents.

    Mom's Club

    Each month, Mom's Club is held as a social opportunity for moms in the parenting education program to get together, find common ground and a sense of belonging.

    Kidz Klub

    Kidz Klub takes place once a month for the children in the parenting education program who are in kindergarten or older. ACHIEVA staff take the children out for an afternoon or evening to do something special and bond with other children who have a similar family experience.

    Learning Center

    Learning Center takes place once a week for mothers and their children under three years old. This three-hour child development program is focused on teaching parents of young children about developmental milestones.

    For more information, contact Colleen Sokira at (412) 995-5000 x426 or via email:

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