Healthy Families Rappahannock Area is a voluntary home visitation program designed to promote healthy families and healthy children through a variety of services, including child development, access to health care and parent education. By working closely with our local hospitals, prenatal clinics and other local agencies, Healthy Families Rappahannock Area identifies nearly 600 families every year that would benefit from referrals to resources. Providing new families with information and resources helps make sure that they get a good start at parenting.
Assessments and Referrals
Each year, we offer one-time assessment visits to approximately 250 families conducted by our Early Prevention Identification Team. These visits focus on helping families identify their strengths and concerns. Family Resource Specialists make sure that parents are linked with community resources such as emergency services, counseling, and education. Each of these families receives a family resource guide that contain valuable information about child development, helping them prepare for the ways their child will change in the coming months. In addition, each new family receives books, diapers, and other supplies to help ease the transition into parenthood.
For families that need additional support, HFRA provides ongoing and intensive home-visiting, focused on building positive parenting skills and healthy children. Approximately 100 families per year receive these home visits, using the Parents as Teachers curriculum. By building on each parent’s unique strengths, Family Support Workers help families with children ages 0 to 5 develop improved parenting and life skills. Family Support Workers provide information about development and discipline, help families learn new coping skills, and provide connections to other community resources. Families can remain in the program up to five years or until the child’s entry into pre-school or kindergarten.
For families receiving home-visiting services, on-going case management is available to ensure that all of the family’s goals are being achieved. Referrals are made to resources such as emergency services, financial assistance, paternity and child support services, counseling services, adult education, employment training and job placement services, life skill seminars, marriage and relationship enrichment classes, etc.
Parenting Group Education
Village Fathers is a 12-week group. The curriculum covers the five characteristics of the 24/7 Dad®: Self-awareness, caring for self, fathering skills, parenting skills, and relationship skills. Topics discussed include family history, the meaning of being a man, showing and handling feelings, men’s health, communication, the father’s role, discipline, child development, getting involved, co-parenting, and work. Fathers meet once a week for one and a half to two hours in a group setting and participate in activities led by professional staff (two male co-facilitators) who have been trained in the 24/7 Dad® curriculum (at least one of the two co-facilitators).