Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training
In the late 1960's, researchers began to investigate how to identify children at risk for failure to thrive, abuse or neglect. In 1971, Dr. Kathryn Barnard, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington, initiated research that brought the ecology of early child development closer to the level of clinical practice by developing methods for assessing behaviors of children and parents. She identified environmental factors that are critical to a child's well-being and demonstrated the importance of parent-child interaction as a predictor of later cognitive and language development. These assessment tools, widely known as the NCAST Feeding and Teaching Parent-Child Interaction scales, were initially taught in 1979 to over 600 nurses in a series of eight classes via satellite in the U.S. After the satellite training experiment ended, NCAST (Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training), under the direction of Georgina Sumner, started offering a Certified Instructor Workshop in Seattle. These professionals gained reliability in the use of the Feeding and Teaching Scales and after obtaining certification as an NCAST Local Instructor went back to their communities to teach others in the use of the scales.
In the 1980's NCAST became a self-sustaining organization at the University of Washington that reached beyond traditional academic or continuing education programs to advance knowledge around the world for the benefit of families and children. The Feeding and Teaching Scale program was updated in 1994 and is currently known as the Parent-Child Interaction (PCI) Program.