What is NurturePA, Inc.?
NurturePA, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting healthy social and emotional development in young children by pairing their parents with experienced and knowledgeable mentors who use text messaging to answer questions and provide helpful information, while offering support and encouragement throughout the child’s first few years of life.
How does the program work?
The nurture® program is about parents helping other parents. Through the use of technology, volunteer mentors are connected with parents who need a little extra support. Learn more.
Who is eligible to enroll in the program?
Currently, moms who deliver at select hospital birthing centers in Allegheny County are able to enroll in the program while they are in the hospital following the birth of their baby. Dads of babies born at participating hospitals are also able to enroll following the birth of their child. However, the nurture® program only has female mentors at this time.
Is there a cost to participate in the program?
There is no cost to the parents who enroll in the program for support.
Can parents meet their mentor or call them on the phone?
All mentoring is done through text messaging, so parents and mentors do not meet face to face or call each other.
Who are the mentors?
NurturePA, Inc. mentors are parents who volunteer their time to serve as a support network and resource for the parents who are enrolled in the program. In addition to being parents, most mentors also have a background or experience in early childhood education, early intervention, social work, psychology, education, or a related field.
How often are mentors available?
Parents may text their mentor at any time. Mentors are asked to respond to parents within 24 hours, however mentors are often able to respond much more quickly.
How long does a mentoring engagement typically last?
The goal is to provide parents with support from the birth of their child until at least age three, however the timeline may vary for each individual situation. Some mentors and parents may choose to continue to work together until the child is five, while other parents may decide they no longer need the support of a mentor before their child turns three.
Can parents text their mentor in an emergency?
Parents may text their mentor to let them know they have an emergency situation. However, the nurture® program is not an emergency response program. In the event of an emergency situation, parents should call 911 for assistance.
Can I become a mentor?
An ideal mentor is someone who is a parent with a background or experience in early childhood education, early intervention, social work, psychology, education, or a related field. All mentors must have access to a computer or tablet and the internet. Click to apply to become a mentor.
How many parents do mentors typically support?
Each mentor is carefully paired with 8-12 parents to support.
How much time does mentoring typically involve?
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.
Do mentors have to use their personal mobile phone?
No, mentors do not have to use their personal mobile phone, nor do they have to provide their private phone number to the parents they support. 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. Some mentors may wish to receive a text alert on their personal phone when they have a message from a parent in the system, however that is optional.
Why should I become a mentor?
Volunteering as a mentor is a great way to give back to the community without having to leave your home. Mentors can fulfill their role from anywhere they have access to a computer or tablet.
Can I refer parents to the program?
At this time, NurturePA, Inc. is unable to take referrals. Only parents who deliver at participating hospitals are able to enroll in the program while they are still at the hospital following the birth of their baby.
How can I support the nurture® program?
Mentors support the nurture® program by volunteering their time. Click to learn more about becoming a mentor.
You can also support the nurture® program by making a donation. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.