Sixty-five families are getting tablets that will allow them to have twice-monthly chats with parent-educators through a Web-based conference system. The pilot program is a partnership between Parents as Teachers and the University of Southern California’s school of social work, whose graduate students will be working with the families. LA Best Babies Network, an organization that supports pregnant women, newborns, and families, recruited the participants, and the virtual visits are expected to begin in April.

In addition to the regular conferences with parent-educators, families will have a chance to interact online every month with other families participating in the pilot program. Group meetings are a part of the Parents as Teachers model and are traditionally held in schools, libraries, or other community meeting spaces. And the educational toys and books that families would normally get when they meet face-to-face with counselors will be provided in an introductory kit.