GORHAM — Prevent Child Abuse America, a national child abuse prevention organization has named The Family Resource Center at Gorham as a Healthy Families America affiliate for Coos and Upper Grafton County. The Family Resource Center has been accredited as a provider of high quality home visiting services to families who want to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes.
Healthy Families America is a signature program of Prevent Child Abuse America that has been providing home visiting services for more than 20 years. Expectant and new parents often have common questions about their child’s development. Healthy Families America connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to find the answers to their questions, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. According to a release submitted by the resource center, Healthy Families America is an accessible, voluntary and well received service.
“The American dream starts with a happy, healthy childhood,” said Dan Duffy, president and CEO of PCA America. “As parents, we all have questions from time to time. Our HFA professionals offer evidence-based best practices to provide answers to questions, individualized support when needed most, and linkages to community services. As we congratulate The Family Resource Center we also recognize the efforts of the Coos Coalition for Young Children and Families and the community leadership that has contributed to success in northern New Hampshire.”
The accreditation process includes a set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research. The process involves an examination of the site’s operation, as well as, the quality of the visits made by Healthy Families America home visitors.
“I am so proud of this major accomplishment,” said Patti Stolte, executive director of The Family Resource Center. “Our family support specialists are well trained and most importantly are able to deliver high-quality, evidence-based services that ultimately improve the outcomes for families in the North Country. Our mission is to build healthier families and stronger communities through positive relationships, programs and collaborations and Healthy Families America is a perfect fit.”
The Family Resource Center has been a partner in the Coos Coalition for Young Children and Families since its inception in 2009. One of the goals of the Coos Coalition has been to introduce and support the use of evidence based curriculum for positive social and emotional development of young children. The Family Resource Center has been working with other community programs including Head Start, Infant Mental Health and Early Supports and Services to insure that high quality home visiting services are available throughout Coos County.
“This accreditation is evidence of the hard work and high standards that the staff and administration of the Family Resource Center has dedicated to improving outcomes for families and young children in Coos” said Cathy McDowell, project manager for the Coos Coalition.
Family Resource Center’s home visitors receive training in a wide range of areas that, according to the center can cause stress and worry to just about every new parent. Training includes caring for a new baby, ensuring the baby is receiving the nutrition needed, promoting healthy child development and coping with a myriad of other potential stresses, such as financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family. It is a voluntary program that a parent can access prenatally to gain supports from pregnancy through early childhood development.
Healthy Families America is an effective and proven evidence-based home visiting program according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Family Resource is the only agency that is a accredited Healthy Families America provider in the region through its sites in Gorham, Lancaster, Colebrook and Littleton. For more information call (603) 466-5190.