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Northwoods Home Visiting earns accreditation from Prevent Child Abuse America

May 06, 2015

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services program, Northwoods Home Visiting, has been awarded accreditation by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) as a provider of high quality home visiting services to families that want to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes. 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 and the quality of the visits made by home visitors.

Northwoods Home Visiting is a Healthy Families America (HFA) affiliate, a signature program of PCA America that has been providing home visiting services for more than 20 years. Expectant and new parents have common questions about their child’s development. HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to find the answers to their questions, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home.

“Fulfilling HFA standards ensures that young parents in our communities will continue to receive quality services.” said Deb Pierson Blackstone, Prevention Manager, Northwoods Home Visiting, Children’s Hospital Community Services. “With our Family Foundations grant we have the opportunity to work with families over the long term, to strengthen parents skills and provide the best for their children.”

One hundred and nine families have participated in the voluntary program since it began in 2012.

Linda Conlon, Director of the Oneida County Health Department, said,” Northwoods Home Visiting is an essential partner in our community that has been instrumental in building and supporting healthy families.”

“Parents want to be good parents; and as parents we all have had many questions when it comes to raising a child,” said Jim Hmurovich, President and CEO of PCA America. “HFA‘s well-trained home visitors are trusted sources in their own communities. They help provide answers to those questions, individualized support when it is needed most, and linkages to other community services. HFA requires community agency involvement and the commitment of community leaders. As we congratulate Northwoods Home Visiting, we also recognize the state and community leadership that has contributed to success in Forest, Lincoln and Oneida Counties.”

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 as financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family.

“When parental stress can be managed effectively, children enjoy safer, healthier and more loving experiences, regardless of the parent’s income or standing,” says Hmurovich.

About Healthy Families America (HFA)
HFA is the sole topic featured in an issue of The Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community (Volume 34, Numbers 1/2 2007). The title of the issue is “The Healthy Families America Initiative: Integrating Research, Theory, and Practice,” and was edited by researcher Dr. Joe Galano. There are 11 distinct articles about various aspects of HFA and authors include a number of PCA America national office staff including Senior Director of Research, Kathryn Harding.

About Prevent Child Abuse (PCA)
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 Healthy Families America (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.

Healthy Families America is an effective and proven evidence-based home visiting program according the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PCA America is proud to support HFA and to be part of a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the home visiting field.
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