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City Council Approves 'Promised Beginnings' Agreement

Pittsburgh City Council approved an agreement with the city and Department of Public Safety aimed at mentoring parents of young children. “Promised Beginnings” is part of the larger Safer Together Pittsburgh initiative to improve public safety.

“It helps facilitate existing resources that are already out there by the county or private providers, bringing those resources together (and) targeting the parents of preschool children,” said Public Safety Director Stephan Bucar.

The program's creator, Maria Bethel, said it’s an effort on the public safety department’s part to be more proactive and less reactive.

“Our goals are primarily creating a safe and healthy living and learning environment in the homes of our city’s families, help parents become more knowledgeable and understanding of the stages of child development and foster better communication skills with their infants and toddlers and also to assist parents to raise children entering kindergarten ready and willing to learn,” Bethel said.

The agreement brings together numerous resources in one place for parents in the form of workshops or mentoring sessions. A pilot program in the East Hills received positive community response, she said. They plan to expand the effort soon.

“Hopefully, the more successful this becomes, other folks will follow suit and we can be a national leader as we continuously improve what we are doing,” said Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak.

The agreement will allow Promised Beginnings to operate indefinitely.