Our promises to families are that:
We will build a partnership in the provision of the child’s program and in the decision making of what will be included in the child’s program. Partnership has become a commonly used word in this field, but in the Portage Model, families must be partners or the program will simply not succeed.
|Today, Portage is the most recognized and used early intervention model in the world. It is a fact indeed that there isn't anywhere that provides special education or early intervention services that hasn't heard of Portage. One unique aspect of Portage is that it is complex in design but simple to implement.
- We promise that we are committed to insuring that the child will succeed and progress and that we are concerned for his well being now and in the future.
- We also promise that our focus will be on the parents and their teaching and nurturing skills. Most early intervention programs focus primarily on the child and child outcomes. In the Portage approach, the focus is on the entire family.
- Our promise is to conduct the child’s intervention in his natural environment that focuses primarily in the child’s home but also assist in helping the child learn across environmental settings. We also promise that we will assist the child and family generalizes learned skills in all of the settings in which the child lives.
- We promise to support the family in not only helping their child, but in meeting their needs. An early intervention service that only focuses on the child will not have longitudinal effects. We must support and help the entire family in order to have lasting, positive effects with the child.
- Through training and the use of a systematic approach, we promise to improve the professional’s ability to provide a comprehensive early intervention service to the children and families they serve.
- We promise to develop and provide a systematic curriculum that will guide professionals in their curriculum planning and implementation.
- We have continuously provided new and innovative practices into the Portage system. However, no new practices were inserted into the model until we were convinced that they fit into the model and they were determined to be effective approaches before they became common practice in the model.
- We promise to train professionals in the area of adult education since, in the Portage Model; it is the adult members of the family that we are in partnership with. We must be informed of adult learning modes as we work with the parents of the child. We also must know that the roll of professionals in natural environments is built upon the “coaching model” in which we transfer information and skills from the provider to the family members.
- We also promise to enmesh a comprehensive early intervention delivery system into the Portage ModelOur promise to the families has always been that we would provide a supportive environment for each child and family that entered our service. This addresses the need to involve the community in the child and family’s lives. It means that we assist in planning for the child to be included in many community activities.
- We promise to conduct many community awareness campaigns in helping them understand the needs and interests of children with disabilities and their families. We are committed to helping the child to become a valued member of the community and to assist that child to grow and develop into a contributing member of the community.
- Our commitment to each and every individual in our program is that we will make every attempt to assist them in developing to their full potential.
- We know that the ultimate goals of an early intervention program leads to the dignity, independence and a positive self-image of every child that enters the program. And we know that accomplishment of each of these begins in an early intervention program. Too often, as professionals, we become concerned about dignity, independence and self-image later in the child’s life but like his overall development, these too must be enhanced right from birth.
- Dignity follows learning and accomplishments and competency.
- Independence only comes within a framework of meaningful relationships within the community and in the home and the child’s self image comes with the person being successful in who he is and what he attempts to do. This must begin in early intervention services.
Portage encourages you to consider these promises as you continue to work with very young children and their families. Portage also encourages families to consider these same promises as they enrich their child’s life.
Today, Portage is the most recognized and used early intervention model in the world. It is a fact indeed that there isn’t anywhere that provides special education or early intervention services that hasn’t heard of Portage. One unique aspect of Portage is that it is complex in design but simple to implement. People use it because it is inexpensive, because it focuses where it should, with the families in the child’s natural environment and it works! We must keep our promises to the families and children that we serve. It is a grave responsibility.
The Headquarters of the International Portage Association in USA has a website and we also have a comprehensive training and technical assistance service that expands throughout the world. Should you be interested in approaching us please use the email address that is provided to you. Currently, the IPA is working to establish training centers in several locations. Our primary target at this time is in Nicosia, Cyprus where there is a vibrant and effective early intervention service using the Portage model. We are also negotiating two other training centers at this time. One is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the other one is in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Each of these centers will work in partnership with the Headquarters of the IPA in serving their respective regions of the world in the provision of training and technical assistance in the development and implementation of comprehensive early intervention services.
The newest development in Portage is inclusion of Portage in Community Based Rehabilitation programmes in developing countries. Portage in CBR responds to local social, cultural, economic conditions. IPA recognized the initiative of CBR NETWORK (South Asia) in its endeavor to take “Portage to Every Village”.
This effort has resulted in the development of Portage training program using distance education to reach out to CBR workers, Portage and inclusive education teachers. Joyful inclusion inclusive education manual is based on the portage principles.
It has the key SOMA features of Portage:
Specific · Observable · Measurable · Achievable