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Family Support Programs

Children's Trust Fund

The Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund (PA CTF) is dedicated to funding innovative and creative community-based child abuse and neglect prevention programs. Specific emphasis for funding is placed on primary prevention programs that focus on the prevention of abuse before it occurs for the first time. PA CTF was established pursuant to Act 151 of 1988, the Children's Trust Fund Act.

PA CTF is led by a 15-member Board of Directors and administered by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). The PA CTF Board consists of three members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, three members of the Pennsylvania Senate and nine citizens appointed by the Governor. The Deputy Secretary for OCDEL under the Departments of Human Services and Education serves as the Executive Director to the Board.

The Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund is funded through revenue generated from a $10 surcharge on all marriage and divorce applications filed in the Commonwealth. Additionally, gifts, donations, interest and sometime federal funds contribute to our revenue.

PA CTF recently established the nonprofit supporting organization, Friends of the Children's Trust Fund (Friends). The purpose of this organization is to raise additional funds through philanthropy and promote awareness of CTF, while publicizing the program and its mission. The main objective of Friends will be to increase CTF revenues and identify and secure new areas of funding.

Pennsylvania's CTF has been investing in prevention efforts since 1990.

For more information, please visit the Friends of the Children's Trust Fund website at

Early Head Start

Early Head Start provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families, and pregnant women and their families. The program is designed to nurture healthy attachments between parent and child (and child and caregiver), emphasize a strengths-based, relationship-centered approach to services, and encompass the full range of a family's needs from pregnancy through a child's third birthday.

For more information, please visit Early Head Start.

Healthy Families America

Healthy Families America (HFA) is a nationally recognized evidence-based home visiting program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment. It is the primary home visiting model best equipped to work with families who may have histories of trauma, intimate partner violence, mental health and/or substance abuse issues. HFA services begin prenatally or right after the birth of a baby and are offered voluntarily, intensively and over the long-term (3 to 5 years after the birth of the baby).

For more information, please visit Healthy Families America.

Nurse-Family Partnership

The Pennsylvania Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) is a nurse home visiting program that helps eligible first-time parents experience healthy pregnancies, learn how to take good care of their babies, and make plans for the future. Home visits by registered nurses promote the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development of the children and provide general support as well as instructive parenting skills to the parents. Services are provided to families prenatally until the child reaches two years of age.

For more information, please visit the National NFP website at

Parents as Teachers

In 1992, the first Pennsylvania funded Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs were implemented in 13 newly created family centers, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Today, PAT is being used by over 104 programs statewide to provide research based, child development and parenting education to more than 10,000 children and 8,500 families in the Commonwealth. In Pennsylvania, the PAT model is used in a variety of settings including family centers, Head Start and Early Head Start, Even Start, ELECT, child care, Children's Trust Fund, grant and foundation funded programs, faith-based and hospital sponsored programs, and county Children and Youth agencies.

For more information, please visit Parents As Teachers.

Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is a home-based early literacy program for eligible families with infants and toddlers. In two half-hour sessions each week over a two-year period, home visitors model for parents how to read and play with their children to promote positive parent-child interaction, literacy development, and a language-rich home environment. PCHP reinforces the parent's role as their child's first and most important teacher and provides them with the guidance and supports to promote quality early learning opportunities for their children.

For more information, please visit the PCHP National Center's website at