The nurture® program is about parents helping other parents. Through the use of technology, parent mentors are connected with parents who need a little extra support.
Parents use their mobile phones to interact with mentors. They can ask questions and receive answers and related information from their mentor as it is needed.
Mentors use a program that enables them to easily send and receive text messages from a computer or tablet to help put parents in touch with the relevant information they need.
The program provides a database of critical, non-proprietary information that includes regional resources and child development milestones that is compiled from recognized, evidence-based sources. The program also includes age-specific child development milestones and possible issues that can be explored with parents. The information included in the program is mobile-friendly, making it easy for mentors to efficiently put parents in touch with the information they need.
Mentors are available to digitally dialog with parents when they need assistance in understanding information or obtaining additional information about parenting. Mentors can help direct parents who may need referrals for medical, mental health, or developmental delay issues. Perhaps equally important, mentors provide a sense that someone cares at a time when the parents themselves may need emotional support.
Each mentor is carefully paired with 8-12 parents to support. On average, mentors spend about 10 minutes per week with each parent they support. Because of the efficiency of the program, mentors are able to successfully support a number of parents in just 1-2 hours throughout the course of the week. Mentors are also able to adapt the work to fit their own schedule.
Training and supervision of the volunteer mentors is provided by a NurturePA, Inc. manager who is credentialed in early child development. The training includes principles of early child development, use of the software program, and policies and procedures for interacting with parents and referring issues to a manager.