HANDS (Helping Area Needs for Diverse Services) of Wyoming County is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality and availability of early care and education in Wyoming County. This is done through implementing planning strategies, supporting growth and development of high quality early child care, and making sure early child care staff are well trained and informed with the latest information about the care of children. HANDS also advocates for early education by informing policymakers and the community about current issues, challenges and opportunities surrounding early care and education.
Would you be interested in donating materials or funds to expand the Educator/Parent Resource Lab? Would you be interested in helping to provide special programs to children and families in Wyoming County? Could you spare some of your time to help out at the Center with projects or programs?
All donations are tax exempt. A copy of HANDS 501(c) 3 exemption papers are available upon request.
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HANDS of Wyoming County has earned a prestigious endorsement from Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., (PATNC) as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top performing home visiting affiliates within the PARNC's international network.
The official designation was made on October 1, 2019.
"Being named a Blue Ribbon Affliliate affirms that HANDS is a high-quality member of the home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers' standards of fidelity and quality," said Cathy Franko, executive director of HANDS. "Blue Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering the highest quality services to children and families."
Implementation with quality and fidelity is vital in home-visiting progreams as it determines a program's effeciveness in accomplishing its original goals and intended outcomes. It also verifies that a program is being implemented as designed. Parents as Teachers' rigorous endorsement process demonstrates a affiliate's accountability and credibility to the community, its funders, elected officials, and the partner organizations with which they work.
Parents as Teachers builds strong communities, thriving families and children that are healthy, safe and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child's earliest years in life, from prenatal through kindergarten.
All children will develop, learn and grow to realize their full potential
The Parents as Teachers approach is to partner, facilitate and reflect. We do this at every level of our organization, from a parent educator visiting a family in their home, all the way to the work of the national center.
Through individual deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning, participants explore their strengths, learn about the Protective Factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experiences to help strengthen their families.
Cafes are structured discussions that use the principles of adult learning and family support. They are highly sustainable with training reinforcement, institutional support, and a commitment to an approach that engages and affirms parents as leaders. Participants leave Parent Cafes feeling inspired, energized, and excited to put into practice what they've learned.
This program was developed in conjunction with Wyoming County Children and Youth Services to aid in the reunification of families that have been involved with their services. This program was designed specifically to identify barriers and supports to successful parenting, and specific parenting skill deficits, and to design a comprehensive family intervention. Also, to increase parenting skills to reduce the risk of, or actual, child neglect through parent training; improve child health, development, and behavior problems related to parenting skill deficits; and to reduce need for out-of-home care placements and permanent removal of the child.
The program has quickly expanded to now include Wyoming County Drug Treatment Court clients under the supervision of Judge Shurtleff. Sessions are geared toward individuals beginning their lives over and making sure they are equipped with the necessary skills they need for success with their sobriety and parenting.
The addition of private pay clients increases the availability of the program to more of the public. Any individuals that appear in front of the judge, probation, parole or have a Children and Youth investigation but not an open case can be referred to the program to self-pay for the sessions. The sessions are 2 hours long and are conducted in the home to ensure attendance. These sessions are 8 weeks long and there is an extensive assessment completed at the completion of the program.