Description: Healthy Families Washington County is a free and voluntary home visiting program that is open to any parent/caregiver residing in Washington County, MD. The program helps families link to community services that will meet their needs. Family Support Specialists provide support on prenatal care, labor and delivery, child development, breastfeeding and other parenting topics and partner with parents to create goal plans that are tailored to each family. Families who enroll in the program are invited to monthly parent/child activity groups. Family Support Specialists also partner with parents to develop positive parenting strategies from the prenatal stage until age five and provide support to empower each family to advocate for their children in health care, child development, safety and education.
Benefits of the program: Healthy Families Washington County’s goal is to support families in our community to provide a loving, safe and nurturing home for their child(ren). The program does this by providing the following resources:
- Individualized services tailored to each family
- Family Support Specialists who support families with child development and health, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and mental health, first aid and CPR, maternal warning signs and much more.
- Transportation to medical appointments for enrolled participants who do not have transportation
- Bus passes for enrolled participants who do not have transportation for work, non-medical appointments, etc.
- Baby safety equipment for enrolled participants, such as baby gates, outlet covers, door knob covers, cabinet locks, etc.
- A welcome gift to all enrolled families which includes baby items and a diaper bag
- A limited baby pantry for enrolled families to provide items such as diapers, wipes, and other baby items.
- Free universal screening to all families for postpartum depression, child development, home safety for children and more.
- Connection to other families through parent and child activity groups
- Fun and engaging ideas and examples of child development activities
- And much more!
Eligibility requirements: Parent/Caregiver must be a resident of Washington County who is currently pregnant or with an infant who is two (2) weeks old or younger. Parents include any primary caregiver who retains custody of the child, including but not limited to fathers, mothers, grandparents, adoptive parents, etc. Special considerations are made for families with infants older than two (2) weeks who are in need of additional family support.
How long does it take? Families can expect to meet with a Healthy Families Washington County Family Resource Specialist for approximately one-to-two (1-2) hours for an initial interview. This information will be shared with Family Support Specialists who will contact families weekly to offer support both in person at the family’s home and/or virtually. Once the family starts meeting with their Family Support Specialist, they are enrolled in the program. Services last from the prenatal stage and birth until the child reaches between the ages of three (3) to five (5).