Become a Families First Program Parent Advisor
After completion of training with a nationally certified Ski-Hi trainer, Parent Advisors support and coach families of children from birth through age 8 who are deaf or hard of hearing. They addresses the concerns of families and together they identify goals and priorities that will facilitate children’s development in the areas of language acquisition, communication, social-emotional skills and other developmental areas as appropriate. Parent Advisors provide once a week family-centered home visits. The SKI-HI curriculum from Utah University is the foundation for the program and may be supplemented with other curricula when appropriate. The SKI HI curriculum is nationally recognized and used by 44 other states and other countries around the world for their early intervention programs.
Initial (or new) Parent Advisors will need to complete the basic six-day training, which is held 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, receptive and expressive language, cochlear implants, hearing aids, assistive devices, literacy, and play and concept development. For the practicing Parent Advisors, two trainings and other additional professional development opportunities are provided throughout the year.
A Parent Advisor should have a bachelor's degree in in a deaf-related field such as deaf education, speech pathology, audiology, or 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 $60 per visit plus travel time and mileage reimbursement. Travel expenses for required trainings are also reimbursed.
After completing the basic 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), a Parent Advisor is matched and assigned to begin conducting 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 eight families. Families First Program 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.