What is Healthy Families America (HFA) and what will becoming accredited mean for Cope Family Center? HFA is “an evidence-based, nationally recognized Home Visiting Program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences” (Healthy Families America). Our mission is to prevent child abuse, and the HFA model for Home Visitation is the most cutting-edge and effective model to promote optimal long-term mental and physical health of parents and their children.
We have offered our Home Visitation Program for many years, so what will change? Primarily this means we will refocus our attention to the most at-risk families (expectant parents and parents of newborns). Parents will be assessed to determine their eligibility based on their history of trauma, intimate partner violence, and mental health and/or substance abuse, criteria based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale. This criteria will apply to the HFA portion of our Home Visitation program only. We will continue to serve all families, regardless of income or any other criteria, through our Drop-in Crisis program, our Resource & Referral services, parenting classes, support groups, and limited Home Visitation–intervention case management.
HFA services are initiated prenatally or 3 months after birth and a Home Visitor continues to work with a family from 3-5 years. It is important to initiate prevention services during this time because of the adverse effects of maltreatment on the brain development of very young children. Children, most notably babies, are at risk for attachment disorder and malnutrition from neglect as well as a range of cognitive impairments. If exposed to abuse during this time, a child’s brain is “hardwired” for survival, not for higher brain functions like compassion and rational thinking. Early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long healthy development. Focusing on working with families early is an investment in the future of our community.
What it’s like to participate in the Home Visitation program: Participation is totally voluntary. Home Visitors support parents in reaching their goals for their family and work with them to build skills to deal with crisis effectively. The Home Visitor works collaboratively with the family to promote positive parenting, offer education, modeling, role-playing and other activities that help parents to develop healthy attitudes towards parenting and increase sensitivity, responsiveness and nurturing towards their children. Home Visitation is the most successful model for the prevention of child abuse and promoting optimal mental and physical health for parents and their children. Learn more about our Home Visitation Program and read some success stories from parents like Miguel, a single dad who needed some extra support.
What are your thoughts about these improvements to our Home Visitation Program? Please comment here and let us know!
By Jennifer Sunseri, Cope Online Organizing Intern
Fatherhood Services Enhancement – Welcome Rafael Ortiz!
Rafael Ortiz joined Cope Family Center in July 2011 as a Home Visitor. Rafael has over 7 years of experience in the Health and Human Services field where he was previously employed as a CNA. He is currently studying for his BS in Social Work at Napa College. Rafael will be working specifically with fathers in our Home Visitation Program, supporting them to develop their parenting skills and contribute to their families’ improved health and well-being. Rafael will be using the ’24/7 Dad’ curriculum through one-on-one meetings with fathers, as well as in the support groups planned for the fall. As we begin to engage fathers through these services, we look forward to offering additional activities for fathers, based on their feedback on how they would like to be supported in raising their children. Rafael has always been drawn to community service and is a much needed addition to our staff.
CAPC Program addition – Welcome Fransine Lopez!
Born and raised in Napa, Fransine has always had a desire to help her community and make a difference. Working with the CAPC Program, she is the Education Coordinator, bringing outreach programs to local schools and implementing various Parent Ed classes. Prior to working at Cope, she worked at the Boys and Girls club both at the main clubhouse and at NVLA so her face may be familiar to a lot of you. She is a recent grad from San Jose State University where she majored in Justice Studies with a concentration in Child Development. During her college years, Fransine worked in group homes and many other non-profit agencies. Fransine is looking forward to providing a fresh voice to the CAPC program and is enthusiastic about helping the program to grow.
Up Valley Home Visitation – Welcome Erika Acosta!
A St. Helena native, Erika Acosta is happy to be home. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Sacramento State University, she volunteered for a year in Guatemala working with the Friends of the Orphans, a nonprofit near and dear to her heart. Erika’s own mother and siblings were raised at the orphanage and it was a lifelong dream of Erika’s to be able to give back to the community that had raised her mother, aunts and uncles. Driven to community work, Erika is excited to be making resources accessible to families in the St. Helena area. Her love for children and their wellbeing is a perfect fit for her here at Cope Family Center and she looks forward to serving the community where she lives and loves.
Date: Wednesday November 9th
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Administrators
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Teachers
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Parents
Location: NVUSD Auditorium
2425 Jefferson St., Napa, CA
Charlie Appelstein, MSW, is a nationally prominent youth care specialist and author whose primary focus is working with children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems. Charlie will discuss what is Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) in NVUSD and how it promotes warm and healthy school environments which help all students thrive. He will teach respectful limit setting and how to move from punitive approaches that are not working to more positive strategies. Charlie will focus on strength-based practice & the power of a positive attitude including self-esteem building & activities for at risk children and youth. Please RSVP to Molly Arnott: firstname.lastname@example.org.