Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an evidence-based home visiting program that provides parenting education and support with the overall goal of preventing child maltreatment and promoting school readiness. PAT was developed as a universal parent support program and enrolls families prenatally through age 5.
Our study used administrative data to compare health outcomes of Arkansas families participating in PAT to a control population with similar demographic, socio-economic, and medical characteristics. Results indicate modest differences in the healthcare use of families are served by PAT, with greater use of the emergency department, overall and for minor reasons, and outpatient care for children as they aged. PAT also increased the mother’s use of the emergency department when their children were older. The data present that PAT as implemented in Arkansas provides children and their families slight health care seeking benefits.