Funds from the Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge grant support our Family Support programs and also provide emergency/crisis support for families enrolled in our programs, specific support to teen parents and babies enrolled in the Adolescent Parenting Program, and scholarships for counseling for mothers who are experiencing post-partum depression.
Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based home visiting program for children ages birth to 3 years and their families. Built on the premise that parents are a child's first and best teachers, trained parent educators provide support through parent education about early child development and positive parenting practices. The program has four key components:
1. Personal home visits
2. Group connections
3. Connections to resources
4. Child development screening and assessments.
The program's goals are to:
1. Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve positive parenting practices
2. Provide early detection of developmental delays and connection to services
3. Improve parent, child, and family health and well-being
4. Prevent child abuse and neglect
5. Increase children's school readiness and success
6. Improve family economic well-being, and
7. Strengthen community capacity and connectedness.
"I don't think I could have done it without you guys."
A story from a staff member about a family she is working with in the Parents as Teachers program.
"Judy" and "Adam"
When I first met with Judy, she and her husband had just taken custody of her infant grandson, Adam. I provided her with information and support from our diaper bank at the Children's Council. The support was well received, and the family seemed to be coping well, and Adam was thriving in his environment. A few months ago, the situation changed dramatically for Judy. Her husband left her right at the same time that she lost her job, and her eldest daughter who had been helping moved out of the state. Judy had gone from a confident parent who seemed to have it "all together," to sitting on her living room floor crying because she was unsure of how she would be able to support her family on her own. She was worried that she would not be able to cover her mortgage and utilities, and desperately wanted to be able to keep her home. She said that she had been applying for jobs but had had no luck. I helped Judy to brainstorm different places in the community where she could apply for employment and helped her to connect with local resources to help her cover her utilities until she was able to secure an income. Shortly after, Judy became employed with a local agency. She has been able to catch up with her finances and has been able to remain in her home. As she has attained this financial stability and independence, I have watched her regain her confidence as she has become a successful single parent to her grandson, Adam.