Family home visiting programs like Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership are helping Rhode Island children and parents thrive by connecting them with health care, housing, nutrition, and educational resources. We need to invest $1.3 million in state and federal funding to sustain these programs that are proven to help build more strong, healthy families today and save costs over time.
Here’s a powerful profile of Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, Healthy Families home visitor Stayshia’s work helping a family address health and housing issues:
Family Home Visiting Helps a Family Through Health and Housing Challenges
“Being a family home visitor is incredibly rewarding. Every day I get to help parents and their children connect to the supports and resources they need to thrive. Most of the families we serve face many hurdles, and it’s my job to help them overcome these circumstances so they can be great parents and give their children the start in life they deserve.
We try to meet every family where they are and address their unique needs. That can mean helping mothers dealing with postpartum depression, providing guidance on talking and reading to their babies, coordinating doctor visits, to providing healthy foods and nutrition best practices.
We do this work in families homes, online, and over the phone. With the coronavirus pandemic we’ve moved most of our work to online and phone check-ins and we’re grateful we can still be there for our families during this difficult time.
There are countless examples of our work changing families lives for the better, but one for me really stands out. A young mother was living in a less than ideal apartment and after connecting her children with a pediatrician, we learned both had lead poisoning. We worked to get the children immediate treatment and to find the family a safer new home. Today, both children are healthy and doing well in public school, and the whole family is in safe, stable housing.
That’s what being a family home visitor is all about and why I urge the General Assembly to maintain funding for proven, evidence-based programs like Healthy Families America so we can continue to improve the lives of families and children who may be struggling.”