Introducing the Healthy Families Child Welfare Adaptation

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By supporting parents in the home, HFA builds a strong foundation for nurturing, safe and trusted relationships between caregiver and child that maximizes opportunities for all children to reach their full potential. Families who voluntarily enroll in HFA work one-on-one with a Family Support Specialist and receive support based on their specific needs. Parents can enroll in the program starting prenatally or at birth, and receive support up until the child is five years old.

Helping Children and Families Thrive

Studies have shown that HFA helps parents and children by improving child health, promoting parent-child interaction, increasing school readiness, and strengthening family self-sufficiency. Studies have also shown reduction of child maltreatment among high-risk families enrolled in the program. In a randomized control study from Healthy Families New York (HFNY), it was found that for mothers with prior CPS reports, HFNY reduced the rate of confirmed neglect by 33% and the rate of confirmed abuse by 77%, including an 88% reduction in the average number of acts of very serious physical abuse by the age of one.

Introducing the Healthy Families America Child Welfare Adaptation

While HFA works with all families, the program best serves those who are high-risk and overburdened, including those who have been involved in the child welfare system. For child welfare providers who work on the front lines each day and recognize the value in connecting high-risk families to intensive home visiting services like HFA, a challenge arises when families with older infants or toddlers are identified, and HFA services are unavailable due to the child’s age.

HFA has addressed this gap by introducing the HFA Child Welfare Adaptation. Families who are referred to HFA from the child welfare system are now able to enroll in the program until the child reaches 24 months of age. Similar to the current HFA model, support services will be offered for a minimum of three years regardless of the age of the child at intake, and support will be tailored to the unique needs of each family.

Please contact Amy Faugas for more information on how you can apply to implement the Child Welfare Adaptation for Healthy Families America!

Healthy Families in Israel!

Healthy Families America is pleased and proud to announce the launch of Healthy Families Israel! We have been working in close contact for nearly a year with leaders from Youth Futures, Inc. a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and their partners from Digma Applied Evaluation and the University of Haifa. Before selecting HFA, our new Israeli partners conducted a review of more than twelve different evidence-based home visiting models, ultimately selecting HFA due to its strong evidence base and flexible programming.

Kathleen Strader and Kate Whitaker traveled to Israel in May (see photo below) and then in June welcomed members of the Youth Futures team to the HFA headquarters in Chicago. While in Chicago, we had the chance to learn more from the HF Israel team, including Liat Riff (pictured below, third from right).

  Kate and Kathleen traveled to Israel to see some of the new Healthy Families Israel program sites first hand and to meet with staff from JAFI, Youth Futures, and the University of Haifa.

Kate and Kathleen traveled to Israel to see some of the new Healthy Families Israel program sites first hand and to meet with staff from JAFI, Youth Futures, and the University of Haifa.

“When I have to explain why we chose [Healthy Families America] I said ‘you know, they are so professional, and they have all these tools, and a great evidence base, but you know – they are also good people” said Raff. “They were willing to work with us, to understand us, and make sure it was a good match.”

We are thrilled about this opportunity to extend the reach of Healthy Families services to Israel! The team has gotten off to a fast start and families have already begun to be recruited and served in six pilot communities throughout the country. Currently the program is serving both Jewish and Arab sectors and there are plans to expand to all thirty-six Israeli localities countrywide.

JAFI has provided critically needed support and service to individuals and families for 90 years and Youth Futures, Inc has provided mentoring to families with school-age children since 2005. The agency’s dedication to quality service, it’s focus on relational health as the foundation for optimal outcomes, and passion for achieving family and child well-being for all, make this collaboration a perfect fit. We are grateful to our newest friends and colleagues in Israel for what we predict to be a long and mutually rewarding relationship aimed at improving the lives of families with young children.