Prenatal enrollment will be an increased priority
Family Resource Center staff recently met with Western Wisconsin Health to discuss strategies for increasing patient referral to home visiting prenatally.
New this year, Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley has become a grantee of the Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program. Through this program, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Family Foundations Home Visiting Program will reimburse Family Resource Center for a portion of its costs.
“Family Resource Center staff and board have spent years preparing for this opportunity,” said Executive Director Agnes Ring. “It was a very competitive process to be selected as one of 30 programs in Wisconsin. We continually meet rigorous accreditation standards as an affiliate of the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model, and participate in statewide continuous improvement initiatives for home visiting. This support will allow us to expand, reaching more families in our service area.”
Family Foundations is a grantee of the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. Aligning with state and federal objectives will result in some changes in the Family Resource Center’s Home Visiting program over time. The most significant change is a goal of enrolling 75 percent of participants in the program prenatally.
Research and best practice recommend making home visiting services to pregnant women early in their pregnancies to maximize positive outcomes, such as:
- Improved maternal and child health;
- Reduction of child injuries, child abuse and neglect and child maltreatment, and emergency department visits for children and mothers;
- Improvement in school readiness and achievement;
- Reduction in domestic violence;
- Improvement in family economic self-sufficiency; and
- Improvements in the coordination and referral for other community resources and supports.
To accomplish the goal of reaching more families prenatally, the organization is looking to established partnerships for support – specifically, partner hospitals and clinics, physician groups, and county health and human service agencies. “There has been a very warm reception to the concept among the Family Resource Center’s partners,” said Ring.
Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin is among partners eager to work closely with the Family Resource Center in a pilot project. Director of Women’s Health Services Stephanie Johnson serves as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors, and is enthusiastic about the new direction for services. “We are excited to partner with Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley in building a process that creates seamless prenatal identification and referral of those families who will benefit from the programs and resources the Family Resource Center offers,” she said. “The key to establishing this early relationship is families and parent educators navigating through the pregnancy course together, ensuring all available needed resources are utilized. The trust and bond of this early relationship will encourage more families to take part in the amazing parent education programs offered post birth encouraging family health and well-being. In turn this will benefit our community by having empowered families parenting our future.”
To learn more about the Family Resource Center’s programs for families and eligibility for the Home Visiting program, please call 715-684-4440.