In 2012, the Program Development Committee, comprised of physicians, therapists, a local judge, attorneys, retired professionals, a local bank, a child abuse assessment center, and the local Head Start program (this could/should be cleaned up by shortening: “community leaders, businesses, medical professionals and Head Start”….) recognized significant community needs and began collaborating on how to prevent child abuse and neglect before it occurs. The committee imagined a place that would allow the opportunity to stabilize families, improve the quality of parent-child interactions, support positive child development, and stop child abuse and neglect in Yamhill County.
The Relief Nursery, founded in 1976, is a private non-profit child abuse and neglect prevention agency proven to strengthen high-risk families and keep young children safe. Over 30 Oregon communities currently utilize the Relief Nursery model. Nationally recognized, the Relief Nursery stops the cycle of child abuse and neglect with its research-based principles of therapeutic early childhood services and comprehensive family support, including alcohol and drug recovery support services.
The committee, along with additional community members and support began to build a local Relief Nursery to empower families, strengthen children and grow a stronger community. Our local non-profit relief nursery, A Family Place opened October 14, 2013, and has served Yamhill County families for nearly a decade. Healthy Families Yamhill County was started in January of 2001 with a grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and transitioned the following year to oversight from the Oregon State Commission on Children and Families. In July of 2012, program administration was transferred through HB 4165 to the Oregon Early Learning Council, Oregon Education Investment Board. A year later, in July of 2013, Lutheran Community Services NW through its early childhood program, A Family Place, was awarded the contract to operate the program. As part of the A Family Place program model, Healthy Families works in coordination with the Yamhill Early Learning Hub and its home visiting collaborative, “Family C0RE” (Coordinated 0-5 years Referral Exchange).
Today, A Family Place provides services to more than 600 children and their families every year.