Buckner Project HOPES in Longview earned a prestigious endorsement from the Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., (PATNC) as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top-performing home visiting affiliates within the PATNC’s international network.
Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that Buckner Project HOPES is high-quality member of the home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model with fidelity. Families in the Longview and East Texas community are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program.
Project HOPES stands for Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support. The state funded program is operated in Longview by Buckner International to support parents and promote healthy families, as Buckner staff provide encouragement and education for early childhood development via regular home visits and group meetings.
In collaboration with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention Division, the program addresses child abuse and neglect prevention by focusing on community collaboration in high risk counties and by increasing protective factors of families served, thereby reducing the likelihood of abuse.
“To earn the Blue Ribbon Affiliate status, we underwent a rigorous self-study and review process from the National Center. The process confirms that we are meeting Parents as Teachers’ standards of fidelity and quality,” said Michelle Heflin, director of Buckner Project HOPES in Longview. “Blue Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering highest quality services to children and families.”
Implementation with quality and fidelity is vital in home-visiting programs as it determines a program’s effectiveness in accomplishing its original goals and intended outcomes, Heflin said. It also verifies that a program is being implemented as designed. Parents as Teachers’ rigorous endorsement process demonstrates an affiliate's accountability and credibility to the community, its funders, elected officials and the partner organizations with which they work.
“This designation from Parents as Teachers lets the community know that they can be extremely confident in the quality of programming they are receiving from Project HOPES,” added Heflin. “While we have fun with our child development programming for local families, this designation shows the information and education we are providing is being retained by families – and when families are stronger, so is the community.”
Earlier this year, Buckner Project HOPES announced its collaboration with Bright by Text as a way to continue serving East Texas families despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the educational texting platform, Buckner found innovative ways to engage clients virtually until home visits and group gatherings could resume.