Public Health Home Visiting: Supporting a Healthy Start for SLO County’s Youngest Residents
Author: Public Health Department
11/4/2019 10:00:51 AM
At any given time, 200+ at-risk families in SLO County are receiving home visits and personalized support from the Public Health Department’s field nursing and home visiting programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is offering these services virtually.
“My nurse was a true life coach and a consistent positive influence for a better future for me and my family,” said one local mother.
New state and federal funding means the home visiting team has recently expanded to serve more families and is now accepting referrals from health care providers and community partners. Families and expectant mothers can also refer themselves for home visiting services.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is supporting mothers and families remotely. Virtual “visits” take place via your cell phone or computer, in real time.
The team brings personalized, evidence-based support that helps promote a healthy pregnancy and build positive parent-child relationships to:
- Reduce child maltreatment
- Improve school readiness
- Improve child health and development
- Improve mothers’ health
- Promote family self-sufficiency
- Increase access to community services
In the words of a home visiting nurse: “Many moms do not have a good support system, which we know correlates strongly with poor health and long-term challenges for the entire family. This program helps fill in those gaps.”
Home visitors provide in-home assessments and work with families based on their specific needs, with a special focus on making sure children are healthy physically, developmentally and emotionally. For example, nurses help families address:
- Mental health concerns
- Medical complications or needs
- Intimate partner violence
- Child abuse or neglect
- Exposure to tobacco, alcohol or other substances
- Family and relationship dysfunction
- Parenting and developmental guidance
- Guidance on maintaining a healthy pregnancy
- Food, transportation and other basic needs
- Education and job development resources
- Connections with other local resources
- … and much more.
All programs are voluntary, supportive, and nonjudgmental.
“It’s about empowering moms to learn new ways to take care of themselves and their children,” said one nurse visitor. “It’s a privilege to support families making changes in their lives and have a positive impact on future generations.”
To refer families or expectant mothers for home visiting, or to learn about home visiting services for your family, call 805-788-2068 or visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/nurse-home-visiting.