Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Pregnancy Support Services (PA-PS) 7: Education Services

Educational and skill-building activities help expectant parents gain confidence in their abilities, reach their highest level of personal functioning, experience healthy births, prepare for parenthood, and develop their sense of choice and empowerment.
NA The agency provides only Pregnancy Options Counseling or Birth Options Counseling.
2020 Edition




Individuals who participate in Pregnancy Support Services learn about parenthood, make informed decisions about their pregnancies, stay healthy, and pursue their educational and vocational goals.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of educational curricula
  • Educational curricula and materials
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

PA-PS 7.01

Expectant parents are educated and counseled about positive personal development and self-sufficiency, including:
  1. personal growth and maturity;
  2. interpersonal relations and communication;
  3. future goals and aspirations, including those related to education and employment;
  4. managing and coping with stress, including stress related to the pregnancy;
  5. problem-solving and decision-making;
  6. time, budget, and household management; and
  7. effectively using available community resources.

PA-PS 7.02

Expectant parents are educated about the following prenatal health topics:
  1. fetal growth and development;
  2. the importance of prenatal care;
  3. nutrition and proper weight gain;
  4. appropriate exercise;
  5. medication use during pregnancy;
  6. effects of tobacco and substance use on fetal development;
  7. what to expect during labor and delivery; and
  8. benefits of breastfeeding.


These topics may be addressed by qualified medical personnel in the context of the prenatal health care referenced in PA-PS 6.01.

PA-PS 7.03

Expectant parents are educated about the following child development and child-rearing topics:
  1. caring for newborns, infants, and young children;
  2. environmental safety and injury prevention, including safe practices for sleeping and bathing;
  3. health and nutritional needs of newborns, infants, and young children;
  4. child growth and development, including physical, cognitive, and social development;
  5. parent-child interactions and bonding; and
  6. age-appropriate behavioral expectations and disciplinary strategies.
NA The agency does not serve expectant parents who plan to parent their children.

PA-PS 7.04

Education services:
  1. describe the topics and practices being addressed, and explain why they are important;
  2. model the practices and skills being targeted; 
  3. include opportunities for active engagement and experiential learning, such as coaching and role modeling;
  4. help parents to personalize the information they are taught; and
  5. are provided in a safe environment that does not punish mistakes.

PA-PS 7.05

When education is provided in a group setting, participants have opportunities to:
  1. contribute by asking questions and sharing their experiences;
  2. listen to and learn from those who are similar to and different from themselves;
  3. develop positive relationships with others; and
  4. participate in activities of interest.
NA The agency does not provide education services in a group setting.

PA-PS 7.06

When education is provided in a group setting, services:
  1. are designed to respond flexibly to the changing needs of group members; 
  2. are scheduled with participants’ time commitments in mind; and
  3. include opportunities for participants to meet individually with personnel, as needed.
NA The agency does not provide education services in a group setting.