Become a Families First Parent Advisor
The Resource Center trains parent advisors to work with families of children from birth through age 8 who are deaf or hard of hearing. They provide ideas for strategies to help children develop in the areas of language acquisition, communication, and social-emotional skills. They offer support and information to the families, modeling different approaches that may be used in working with the child. Parent Advisors provide weekly family-centered home visits. The program uses the SKI-HI curriculum from Utah State University, which is the same curriculum used by 44 other states for their early intervention programs.
To become a parent advisor, applicants will need to complete a six-day training, which is held once each summer. Topics in the curriculum cover a full range of issues specific to deaf and hard of hearing children, including: being deaf and communication issues and approaches, early auditory learning, literacy, visual language, spoken language through audition, cochlear implants, hearing aids, birth-12 months, play and concept development and more.
A parent advisor should have a bachelor's degree in a deaf-related field such as deaf education, speech pathology, audiology, or ASL interpreting, or have equivalent experience. Those with degrees in other fields such as early childhood or special education may be considered if they have relevant experience such as being deaf, being the child of a deaf adult, having a deaf sibling or child, or have experience working with deaf children.
Parent Advisors are state contractors and are paid $40 per visit plus travel time and mileage reimbursement. Travel expenses for required trainings are also reimbursed.
After completing the six-day training, new parent advisors are added to our list of qualified providers. When a family in their region requests services, (usually within a 50 mile radius), we contact the parent advisor to see if they would be a good match for the family. Once a match is made, the parent advisor may begin making home visits. Our parent advisors typically serve between one and three families, depending on the number of children identified in their region. They may serve no more than six families. Families First is advertised through First Steps, local school districts, hospitals, Parents as Teachers, etc. Sometimes, however, it is several months before a new parent advisor receives their first assigned family.