A Mother's Wish on Mother's Day

This blog was originally published at preventchildabuse.org

On Mother’s Day, we want to share you with a simple story. A story about a mother, her baby, and the great childhood that her baby deserves.

This Mother’s Day, what do you wish for the Moms and babies in your life? You probably wish that they’ll feel supported, loved, and thanked. But how do you make that wish come true? Thank the Moms in your life this weekend by doing something small, but helpful.

One example is bringing them a ready-to-bake meal, freeing up their time in the evening to spend more time with their children. Another way you could help is offer to babysit one night, giving Mom a much needed night of rest! If you have the time to spare, helping other parents free up their own time can be a huge help for an overburdened parent.

If you want to do something for a bunch of Moms at one time, Call your legislators and tell them that you support policies that support families. A great example of one of these policies is the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.

Maybe you don’t have the time today, but will in the future. In that case, do something later, such as holding a block party this summer for your neighborhood. Events like these can help families in build social connections among neighbors. This is especially helpful for single parents, and can reduce the isolation that they may feel in the community. The more people that that parents know, the more likely they are to reach out for help when they really need it.

The wishes from the mother in our video above are the kind of things that all parent want for their child. You can help answer that wish this Mother’s Day, and every day this year. Learn more on our Get Involved page and find out how you can play a role in creating the great childhoods that all children deserve (and that all Moms wish for).

CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE WALORSKI (R-IN) VISITIS HEALTHY FAMILIES AMERICA® PROGRAM IN ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, INDIANA

Rep. Walorski spent time visiting with families and staff from Family & Children’s Center who operate the Healthy Families St. Joseph program

(ST. JOSEPH, IN) - Congresswoman Jackie Walorski spent several hours on Wednesday, April 19 meeting with her constituents who participate in an evidence-based family support program in St. Joseph County.

Congresswoman Walorski speaks with a mother who receives services from Family & Children's Center in St. Joseph County.

Congresswoman Walorski speaks with a mother who receives services from Family & Children's Center in St. Joseph County.

While visiting Family & Children's Center in South Bend, IN, Congresswoman Walorski met with parents who have benefitted from the Healthy Families St. Joseph program as well as the dedicated staff who spend their days ensuring that children in Indiana have the chance to thrive.

“Evidence-based programs like Healthy Families are helping Hoosier parents thrive and giving children the chance to achieve their full potential,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn more about how this program serves our community and to hear directly from families who have benefited from it.”
"For decades, the Family & Children's Center has been an advocate for creating a strong home environment and support system for every child in St. Joseph County,” said Logan Anderson, Board Chair of Family & Children's Center. “We appreciate having the opportunity to meet with the Congresswoman and know she will be advocating for us."

Family & Children's Center operates Healthy Families St. Joseph County, a voluntary home visiting program which uses the Healthy Families America model and is funded by the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, also known as MIECHV. MIECHV is currently up for reauthorization and has been taken up by the House Ways & Means Committee, on which Rep. Walorski began serving this year.

"We have incredibly passionate and mission-driven team at the Family & Children's Center, and I'm happy we were able to share some success stories from the families participating in our Healthy Families program,” said Roxanne Ultz, Executive Director of the Family & Children's Center. “Our mission is to build strong families and healthy children and with programs such as Healthy Families, we are able to make progress."

MIECHV funding has resulted in a proven track record of success in improving outcomes for children and families in Indiana. In 2016, for programs receiving MIECHV dollars, 60% of families who had less than 12 years of education went on the further education by at least one year, helping parents find better jobs to support their growing families. Additionally, Less than 1% of children enrolled at 12 months had a substantiated report of abuse and/or neglect five years later.

“Healthy Families America uses an infant mental health and relational development approach that benefits not only the families we serve, but also the communities those families live in,” said Cyd Wessel, National Director of Healthy Families America. “Our program sites at places like Family & Children's Center are making sure that all Hoosier families get what they need in order to raise the healthiest children possible.”

Nationally, MIECHV programs have shown a substantial improvement in key outcome areas for families, including improving school readiness in children, reducing child abuse and neglect, and improving family economic self-sufficiency. MIECHV is also supported by policymakers on both sides of the aisle, including Congresswoman Walorski.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program that has shown so much promise in improving people’s lives” said Congresswoman Walorski.

Use these links to learn more about Healthy Families St. Joseph County and the importance of MIECHV.