Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Learn more about Healthy Families America.

While we work here to create a series of new materials, products and messages regarding Healthy Families America, we thought we would pause for a moment and give you a chance to learn more about this exciting home visiting program.

What is Healthy Families America?

Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) implemented Healthy Families America (HFA) in 1992, building on two decades of research in the field of home visitation.

HFA is a nationally recognized voluntary service that connects expectant parents and parents of newborns with child development assistance in the comfort of their homes.

Well-respected, trained home visitors provide valuable guidance, information and support to help parents be the kind of parent they want to be.

Based upon our years of experience, we know that home visiting promotes optimal long-term mental and physical health of children and their parents.

What services does HFA provide?

All expectant parents and parents of newborns have common questions about their child’s development. While a new baby is a welcome addition to the family, it can also sometimes cause stress. Home visitors receive extensive training in a wide range of areas that provide the answers to parents’ questions:

(1) Caring for yourself during pregnancy,

(2) Caring for a crying baby,

(3) Ensuring a child is receiving the right nutrition,

(4) Promoting healthy child development, and

(5) Maintaining a strong and personal relationship with your partner.

Who does HFA serve?

HFA connects with families through hospitals, health clinics and pediatricians. HFA serves families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, meeting the needs of 413 communities in 41 states, Washington D.C. and Canada annually.

How does HFA ensure quality services?

Accreditation of All Sites - HFA site accreditation is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements founded in 20 years of research. The process involves an in-depth examination of each site’s operation, as well as the quality of the home visits.

Well-Trained Home Visitors - HFA service providers are well-trained and highly respected members of the community. In fact:

On average, HFA’s 2,000 home visitors have four years of home visiting experience and three years tenure with their HFA program.

76% of home visitors have some college experience or college degrees.

Third Party Review - The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the RAND Corporation are highly respected and looked to as a reliable sources of information about the effectiveness of programs:

RAND recently rated Healthy Families New York as “proven” program. Specifically, parents participating in the program were less likely to neglect their children both physically and psychologically.

OJJDP reported that the program “produces measurable benefits for participants in areas such as parent–child interaction and parental capacity.”

For more information, please visit HFA's website here.

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