What is home visiting and why does it help?
The Santa Fe Children’s Project, the primary initiative of United Way of Santa Fe County, has developed an array of programs and services to support families with a two-generational approach. We know that the earlier we can begin supporting a family, the more effective our intervention will be. Our services begin prenatally to implement a foundation of support and education. Prenatal education focuses on healthy decision making, emotional well-being, and planning for birth, breastfeeding, and baby.
Our home visiting programs offer families access to one-on-one support and information during the vulnerable years of early parenting. The parent – child relationship is the focus of our home visiting programs; developing within parents the ability to attune and connect with their child in positive ways. For parents, this may mean learning new ways to manage their own emotions, ways to recognize their child’s cues and behaviors, and to determine the best way to meet their child’s needs. Parents are encouraged to establish their own style, incorporating healthy attachment behaviors that support security and regulation in their child.
Our First Born® program enrolls families during pregnancy or within the first two months of having a baby and continues for three years. During those years, parents not only receive weekly home visits, but also have access to group activities, parenting classes, care provider support services, and free books to encourage early literacy.
The home visitor also tracks a child’s developmental milestones with parents, offering suggestions of interactive ways to support development; such as reading to, singing to, playing with, and comforting their child during difficult emotions. After three years of parenting support, parents report feeling more confident, more connected, and more joyful about their new role, as well as a strong desire to advocate for the future education of their child.
To make a donation to support our home visiting programs, go to www.uwsfc.org/donate