This question starts the relationship between our Healthy Families home visitation team and a mother seeking effective ways to interact with her child. It allows the home visitor to develop a sense of how a mother was parented, what expectations she brings to parenting and allows them to develop realistic goals for each step of a child’s development.
Lindsay (name has been changed for privacy) was born while her mother was still in high school. Acknowledging the difficulties she faced, her mom enrolled in our Healthy Families home visitation program and started meeting weekly with a member of our team.
The home visitor encouraged Lindsay’s mom in her new role as a mother and helped her set expectations based on Lindsay’s development. Lindsay’s mom was building a solid foundation for their family until, shortly after Lindsay’s little sister was born, her mother was involved in a domestic violence incident that resulted in Lindsay and her sister being temporarily removed from their home.
Despite the setbacks, however, Lindsay’s mom maintained her relationship with Healthy Families and the girls are back with their mother. Their home visitor now meets with them monthly, encouraging their mother and helping her identify positive things about each of the girls; with this encouragement, Lindsay’s mom has completed her GED and has enrolled in Chemeketa for the winter term.
When our relief nursery opened in October, Lindsay was one of the first on the list. Twice a week she spends four hours with staff members trained to reduce the impact of stress on her development. Meanwhile, Lindsay’s mom can use the time to connect with Lindsay’s baby sister, practicing attachment and bonding techniques she learns from her ongoing work with her home visitor.
A Family Place is wrapping around Lindsay, her mother and her sister to encourage them through the difficult times, focus on the positive and empower them to be a great family – and great members of our community.