Meet Our Staff: Vanessa Salas and Pamela Santamaria! Vanessa and Pamela are Parent Educators for our Parents as Teachers program, a free service provided to parents or guardians who require prenatal care, or have a child up to five years of age in Middlesex County. Vanessa started at PRAB as a Family Leadership Academy Coach in 2015, and has recently become the Program Coordinator for the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. Pamela has a background in early-childhood psychology and has been serving at PRAB since 2017.
As parent educators, Vanessa and Pamela manage approximately 20 cases each throughout the county, from Monroe to Carteret. For each case, they preform evidence-based home visitations with the client regularly; for prenatal care to birth, visits can be weekly to bi-weekly, and visits occur monthly for older children up to age five. The services they provide are free and voluntary, and do not require you to have low-income status.
So what does PAT do? The PAT program provides parents or guardians with young children with the skills necessary to help a child develop and learn at a normal pace. Parent educators assist in the development of fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional well-being, and problem resolution for both the child and parent-child relationship. The main goal of the program is to educate the parent or guardian on skills and techniques that will be essential for raising a child.
For prenatal clients, Parent Educators go over stress management techniques for when the baby comes and how to care for a newborn. They help connect the client to local resources that will provide products and services for the newborn, like the Central Jersey Diaper Bank, which can provide diapers and other items necessary for raising a newborn to parents in need. They also discuss the healthcare needs of a newborn, and what to expect in the rush of having a child.
Parents as Teachers is an immensely valuable program at PRAB, and we could not imagine what we would do without them. The amount of work they do and what they accomplish with their clients is astounding, and we are proud to have such devoted and compassionate team members like Vanessa and Pamela.
For more information on our Parents as Teachers program, or PRAB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you ladies for all the hard work you do!
Pictured: Pamela on left, Vanessa on right