Healthy Families of Rensselaer County, a program of St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP), has been accredited by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) 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 of Rensselaer County is an affiliate of Healthy Families America (HFA), which is a signature program of PCA America that has been providing home visiting services for more than 20 years. It is grant funded through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
Expectant and new parents often have common questions about their child’s development. HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to find the answers to these questions, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home.
The HFA site in Rensselaer County is located at SPHP’s Samaritan Hospital’s St Mary’s campus.
“Working for Healthy Families is such an honor,” said Laurie McBain, LCSW-r, program manager, Healthy Families of Rensselaer County. “Every day, we are invited into families’ homes and witness the success and growth of parents and children who have chosen to partner with us.”
“The staff work with parents in such a supportive and empowering way,” said
Scarlet Clement-Buffoline, chief operating office for acute care at SPHP. “This type of engagement does not happen in an office setting. Home visits promote positive child-parent bonding, skill building, and overall improvements in health and well-being in a unique way. We are so fortunate to have this program in our community.”
Home visitors in each community receive extensive training in a wide range of areas that can cause stress and worry to just about every new parent: 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 stresses include financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family.
“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 Healthy Families of Rensselaer County, we also recognize the state and community leadership that has contributed to success in Rensselaer County and the City of Troy.”
The accreditation process is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research. The process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operation, as well as, the quality of the visits made by HFA home visitors.
“We commend the Healthy Families of Rensselaer County for opening itself up to such an intensive review process,” said Kathleen Strader, national director of HFA. “We believe that all families and all communities deserve access to quality home visiting services.”
“Healthy Families New York’s 43 programs served nearly 6,000 families with more than 71,000 home visits last year. We are proud to support these programs that are proven to contribute to positive and lasting outcomes for families throughout New York state,” said acting Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “We congratulate all the Healthy Families New York programs on their re-accreditation and impactful work with families across the state.”
PCA America was established in 1972 with the belief that child abuse and neglect is preventable. The not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization is committed to preventing child abuse in all forms through education, research, public awareness, and public policy development. Today, PCA America has 50 statewide chapters.
PCA America implemented the HFA initiative in 1992 in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, building on two decades of research in the field of home visiting. HFA serves families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, meeting the needs of close to 600 communities in 40 states, DC, the U.S. Territories and Canada.
Learn more about Healthy Families of Rensselaer County at: http://www.sphp.com/healthy-families-of-rensselaer-county-sam
Learn more about Healthy Families New York at: https://www.healthyfamiliesnewyork.org/
Learn more about PCA America at: https://preventchildabuse.org/