Implementing Play and Learning Strategies (PALS)

Entries in this row combine information across all versions of PALS. Only PALS Infant meets HHS criteria for an evidence-based home visiting model. Some other versions of PALS have at least one manuscript about a high- or moderate-quality impact study, but no version of the model other than PALS Infant meets HHS criteria for an evidence-based home visiting model.

Model implementation summary last updated: 2019

The information in this implementation report reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the manuscripts reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about any research on the effectiveness of the model, including any version(s) of the model with effectiveness research. Versions of the model that are described in the Adaptations and enhancements section of this implementation report may include (1) versions that were identified by the model’s developer and (2) versions that have been implemented by researchers and have manuscripts that HomVEE rated high or moderate, but that are not supported by the model’s developer.

Model overview

Theoretical approach

Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) is a preventive intervention that aims to enhance parents’ interactions with their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It is designed to strengthen the attachment between parent and child and stimulate early language, cognitive, and social development.

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Implementation support

The University of Texas Health Science Center’s Children’s Learning Institute (Children’s Learning Institute) supports implementation of PALS. No state support systems exist.
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Intended population

PALS targets at-risk families who are unlikely to have received effective parenting instruction. Local agencies may develop their own target criteria based on their service area context.

Two versions of the model exist: PALS Infant curriculum and PALS Toddler/Preschooler curriculum. PALS Infant curriculum focuses on children ages 5 to 18 months and their families. PALS Toddler/Preschooler curriculum focuses on children ages 18 months through 4 years and their families.

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Targeted outcomes

The goal of PALS is to strengthen the attachment between parent and child and to stimulate early language, cognitive, and social development.
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Model services

PALS includes one-on-one home visits between a trained parent coach and a parent.
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Model intensity and length

PALS Infant curriculum consists of 10 weekly sessions. PALS Toddler/Preschooler curriculum consists of 12 weekly sessions. Sessions last about 90 minutes.
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PALS has been implemented in the District of Columbia and 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
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Adaptations and enhancements

PALS has been adapted for online delivery in two versions: PALS Spotlights and ePALS. PALS Spotlights is an online, self-instructional version of PALS. It consists of condensed sessions that highlight key concepts from PALS. ePALS is being used in an ongoing study and is not currently available.
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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in October 2019. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the Children’s Learning Institute in May 2019. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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