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The Community Foundation Blog

Early supports for families pay lifelong dividends
By The Community Foundation / March 21, 2018
Early supports for families pay lifelong dividends

Family Lifeline mothers and daughtersAndrea Barran got involved with Family Lifeline when she was pregnant with her now 5-year-old daughter, Kyana. As a first-time mother, she was eager to learn as much as possible about how to be a good parent. Through the intensive Early Childhood home visiting program, Andrea received hands-on support and interaction around proper nutrition, breastfeeding, and how to care for her baby. A multi-disciplinary team, including a nurse and parent educator, worked with Andrea to develop a plan for success—for both mother and daughter. Together, they focused on age appropriate development including walking, talking, and healthy routines. 

Through that effort, the team identified early delays in Kyana’s speech development, leading to speech therapy and ultimately a diagnosis of autism. Early intervention was critical to getting Kyana the help she needed. Andrea credits her Family Lifeline team with giving Kyana a chance for a future. “There are some days that are very hard. There are also some days that I don’t even think about Kyana having autism,” she reports.  

As evidenced by Andrea’s story, Family Lifeline is true to its name. As the region’s largest provider of intensive home visitation services for at-risk families, Family Lifeline partners with families at critical points in their lives. Whether working in the home or taking its services to the community, Family Lifeline works to solve the root of problems, building on assets and creating lasting impact. Support programs use a multi-disciplinary approach to improve health outcomes, prevent child abuse and neglect, promote optimal child development, encourage literacy and school readiness, and increase positive parenting behavior. 

The Community Foundation supports Family Lifeline’s work with their Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers and CHIP program models, including weekly early childhood home visitation and prevention services. Their trauma-informed approach creates a safe and trusting environment to enhance parents’ resiliency, as well as parenting skills that enable them to be the most loving and effective parents for their children. The Family Lifeline team of professionals are trusted advisors to the families and are well positioned to connect families to additional resources. During the latest grant cycle, Family Lifeline reported surpassing all set performance and quality outcomes and indicators. Through continuous evaluation of its programs, the end goal remains – children who are safe, healthy and positioned for success in school, work and life.

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