LOCATION: LOUDOUN COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Since 1994, INMED Partnerships for Children’s Loudoun County programs have served the most vulnerable children and families in the community where we have established our global headquarters.
The Healthy Families Loudoun program’s intensive, long-term home visiting and case management services are targeted toward helping families build a foundation for success, where the outcomes of our work are evident in stronger, more self-reliant families, a healthier community, and children who enter school ready to learn and succeed.
Our services begin during pregnancy or at birth, and are offered for up to five years, supporting the most critical years in a child’s development. Home visits are conducted based on each family’s needs—weekly during pregnancy and immediately after birth (or even more often for the highest-risk participants), then less frequently as families demonstrate increased skills and self-sufficiency.
Through the Healthy Families Loudoun program, each participating family is assigned to a bilingual and extensively trained family support worker. The family support worker provides long-term, one-on-one, in-home mentoring and guidance; education on healthy parenting and child development and emotional and practical support to achieve family-identified goals. As the need arises, the family support worker also facilitates families’ access to other appropriate medical, social, educational, vocational, legal and/or crisis resources.
Healthy Families Loudoun works toward four major goals through a wide range of strategies and activities carried out by the family support workers:
- Promote positive parent-child interaction and positive parenting knowledge and behavior
- Prevent child abuse and neglect
- Promote optimal child development
- Achieve positive pregnancy outcomes and maternal and child health outcomes
BUILDING CONFIDENT PARENTS AND STRONG FAMILIES
“Jewel” is a first-time mother in her late thirties. During her pregnancy, she was worried about her baby’s development, because of her relatively late age. Even though she arrived three weeks early, her baby girl, “Joy,” was born beautiful and healthy. Jewel was worried about taking care of her child, because she didn’t have any experience with babies, but her Family Support Worker provided the education and guidance she needed to overcome her fears and to be a loving and attentive mother.
Joy is now 20 months old, and Jewel feels that she is a good mother to her. Because of their strong bond, Jewel can read Joy’s cues about what she needs and wants when her words are not enough, and thanks to the education she gained through the Healthy Families Loudoun program, she knows how to feed her child healthy, appropriate food, and she teachers Joy new words through play, making learning fun. Jewel also reads books to her daughter regularly. She is so proud to see that Joy is meeting all of her developmental milestones when her Family Support Worker conducts regular developmental screenings.
It had been a challenge for Jewel to get Joy to sleep at night, so her Family Support Worker taught her tactics such as establishing a routine for getting ready for bed, that Joy has adapted to readily. Now they both get a good night’s sleep!
Jewel reports that her parenting skills are getting better every day, and that she never stops learning what to do and what to expect at each of Joy’s developmental stages. She is thankful to the Healthy Families Loudoun program for helping her gain the skills and self-confidence to become the best parent she can be.