More than twenty years later, Donna Boos still remembers her home visitor’s name and the impact that one Family Support Worker has made upon not only Donna, but her entire family. “The information, education and support I received from my home visitor, Toby, will forever be with me.”
Donna got her start with Healthy Families Iowa when she found out she was pregnant with her first child and shortly after she and her boyfriend Chris had relocated to a new area. “Not having any concrete or social supports and family close by, plus being a considerable distance away and at times having conflictual relationships with them, it was hard for this nervous first-time mom!” recalled Donna. Fortunately, a new neighbor was involved with Healthy Families Iowa and recommended the program to Donna. “I accepted with the anticipation of not only learning about how to raise my child but to have someone to support and connect with during my long and sometimes lonely hours of being a stay-at-home Mom,” she said.
At the time, Donna was looking for a way to learn more about her child and to have someone to turn to for support and guidance. She didn’t know at the time that it would one day be her who would be providing that support.
Today, Donna is a Program Manager with Healthy Families-Buchanan County, Iowa, helping to lead and manage the program that had been so helpful to her two decades ago. Donna credits her experience as a participant in HFA for why she is so dedicated and passionate about the program today. One aspect of her job that Donna loves is being able to give advice and support to other professionals (and parents!) who work for or participate in HFA. “It takes a village to raise our children,” said Donna, “Thank goodness I understood this and accepted the help when I did.”
Thank goodness indeed, because if Donna hadn’t accepted the help twenty years ago, we wouldn’t be so lucky to have her as an ambassador for our program today.
Do you know someone who would like to share their HFA experience? Let us know!