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Healthy Families America

Healthy Families America (HFA) is a nationally recognized, evidence-based home visiting model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment. Launched in 1992, HFA was developed as a direct response to the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect report, issued in 1991, calling for immediate and urgent attention directed at the “national emergency” of child abuse in the United States. A second report concentrated its recommendations on the federal government’s role and strongly emphasized the importance of making prevention a key strategy by implementing voluntary neonatal home visitation programs. Since 1992, HFA sites have served hundreds of thousands of families, and on average sites serve more than 75,000 families annually in 40 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Canada.

In February 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services named HFA as a proven home visiting model after a thorough and transparent review of the home visiting research literature that looked at more than 250 home visiting models. The HFA model’s effectiveness was based fifty (50) studies illustrating its effectiveness in eight (8) areas: Child Development and School Readiness; Child Health; Family Economic Self-Sufficiency; Linkages and Referrals; Maternal Health; Positive Parenting Practices; Reductions in Child Maltreatment; and, Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime. HFA is a home visiting model equipped to work with parents who may have histories of trauma, and who may experience intimate partner violence, mental health and/or substance abuse issues. The HFA model is theoretically rooted in the belief that early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long, healthy development. Well trained home visitors provide services in family’s homes providing them an opportunity to experience the family’s living environment, to develop first-hand knowledge of the strengths and stressors of the home environment, to implement home safety assessments with the family, and to engage the family on “their turf”. Services are initiated prenatally or right after the birth of a baby and are offered voluntarily, intensively and over the long-term, for a minimum of 3 years after the birth of the baby and in many cases up to the child’s fifth birthday.

The HFA National Office is responsible for ensuring the model is implemented with quality and fidelity by making certain sites and staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the model and to help mitigate the impact of serious stressors in the lives of families being served. For more than twenty years, the HFA national office has focused on both expanding and sustaining HFA by assisting states in building their own infrastructures for advocacy, funding, training, quality assurance and evaluation. Furthermore, the HFA model is built upon a set of 12 research-based critical elements that provide a benchmark in which quality is measured, and requires its sites to successfully complete a comprehensive and rigorous accreditation process linked to best practice standards. All of these services ensure HFA families receive quality services with proven results.

HFA programs currently serve an estimated 75,000 families annually. Forty five percent of families are Caucasian, 27% Latino, and 22% African American. Families of Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and other origins make up 6% of participants. The majority of sites (75%) now serve families with more than one child, versus focusing solely on first-time parents like many other models do. These families tend to be single (69%), low income (72%) and 29 or younger (81%) with 63% under the age of 25.

HFA Vision:
All children receive nurturing care from their family essential to leading a healthy and productive life.

Mission:
To promote child well-being and prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children through home visiting services.

Core Values:
Valuing Children
Strengthening Families
Engaging Communities

HFA Program Goals:

  • Build and sustain community partnerships to systematically engage overburdened families in home visiting services prenatally or at birth.
  • Cultivate and strengthen nurturing parent-child relationships.
  • Promote healthy childhood growth and development.
  • Enhance family functioning by reducing risk and building protective factors.



www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org

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Current news

Mayor Rahm Emanuel helps turn Chicago's Navy Pier into a Big Pinwheel Garden

 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O'Connor to join Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois Chapter in turning Gateway Park at Navy Pier into Big Pinwheel Garden

Chicago event highlights month-long series of activities nationwide calling people to action in support of healthy starts for kids throughout April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month

APRIL 16, 2014 (Chicago, IL) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor will join Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois in turning Chicago’s Gateway Park at Navy Pier into a "Big Pinwheel Garden" on Wednesday, April 16, at 9:30 a.m. CT with hundreds of supporters creating a display of thousands of pinwheels – the national symbol for child abuse prevention. The event calls for people to take action in support of healthy child development as the nation marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This event follows the April 8th Big Pinwheel Garden in Times Square and is one of many such events taking place nationwide throughout April as part of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since April 2008.

“We have a responsibility as a city to ensure that every single child in Chicago is able to grow up in a healthy, safe environment,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago remains committed to preventing child abuse and neglect by increasing support services for families, including our efforts to expand domestic violence shelters for the first time in more than a decade. I am proud to stand with Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month and raise awareness for this important issue.”

Mayor Emanuel and Alderman O’Connor will be joined in speaking at the event by Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Executive Director Roy Harley.

“We’re here to reinforce the notion that all children deserve stable and happy childhoods, and that we all play a role in making this happen,” said Alderman O’Connor. “As a member of the City Council, one role I play is helping to make sure, along with Mayor and fellow City Council members, that policies and programs are in place that help create environments in which children can thrive. Together we can protect our children from bullying or sexual abuse, and together we can make sure that our children are nurtured and healthy.”

To support the campaign, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child- or family- serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)


“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our social norms as a nation must change from where we say we value children to all citizens playing an active role in children’s lives.”

“In Illinois,“ Roy Harley, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois pointed out, “our commitment along with all of our public and private sector partners, is that all children grow up in safe, healthy, nurturing environments free of abuse or endangerment of any kind. We know how to do this with effective family programs, early education, and community supports and we have to do this. We have to invest in children! A bright future for all of them is a bright future for all of us. Pinwheels say that every child matters and everyone needs to be involved.”

Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters’ pinwheels-focused events throughout April including a pinwheel garden event hosted by Nebraska’s First Lady in downtown Lincoln, NE; a “pinwheel garden” of 1,000 pinwheels in Indianapolis (each representing 87 healthy births for the 87,000 children born annually in Indiana); and pinwheel rallies at state capitals around the country.

 

Actor Josh Charles and Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden

 

Actor Josh Charles and Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden

Event promotes pinwheel as symbol for healthy starts for our nation’s children

APRIL 9, 2014 (NEW YORK, NY) – "The Good Wife" actor Josh Charles helped Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into the Big Pinwheel Garden yesterday to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month and promote the pinwheel as the symbol for healthy starts for all children. Charles was joined by Manhattan magazine’s Cristina Cuomo and over 200 volunteers, holding nearly 5,000 pinwheels to create the display.

"I hope to be a father someday soon, and I feel strongly that living an innocent, care-free life isn't a right for just SOME children. It's the right for ALL children, regardless of the neighborhood they grow up in – or their socio-economic status," said Charles. "I care about the welfare of the next generation. Children are the artists, the politicians, the engineers, the doctors, the scientists of tomorrow, and I want to see ALL of them have the chance to lead full, productive, and safe lives."

The Times Square Big Pinwheel Garden is one of many such activities taking place across the country throughout April's Child Abuse Prevention Month, and is the signature event of the organization’s Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since April 2008.

“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our call to action must be to change our personal behavior, attitudes and social norms to value children; all children.”

To support Prevent Child Abuse America's efforts, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child-serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)

 

 

 

Prevent Child Abuse America teams with actor Josh Charles to turn Tims Square into Big Pinwheel Garden on April 8

 

Prevent Child Abuse America teams with actor Josh Charles to turn Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden on April 8

NYC event headlines month-long series of activities nationwide calling people to action in support of healthy starts for kids throughout April's Child Abuse Prevention Month

APRIL 7, 2014 (NEW YORK, NY) – Prevent Child Abuse America and actor Josh Charles from the Emmy-nominated CBS show, The Good Wife, will turn New York City’s iconic Times Square into a "Big Pinwheel Garden" on Tuesday, April 8, at 9:00 a.m. ET with hundreds of supporters creating a display of more than 5,000 pinwheels – the national symbol for child abuse prevention. The event calls for people to take action in support of healthy child development as the nation marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This will be the signature event of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since the campaign’s launch in April 2008.

“We all want healthy starts for our nation’s children; yet we know that various adversities like poverty, child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse can sometimes get in the way,” said Charles. “But we can all play a role in taking the time to do what we can, to provide every child with the opportunity to have an even playing field as they start their lives. I’m a good example. I’m not a parent but hope to be in the future and very much want to see all children have the opportunity to lead full, productive lives.”

Charles will be joined at the event by Cristina Cuomo, Editor-in-Chief of Manhattan magazine, who will host the proceedings. Key organizational partners such as Manhattan magazine, Kappa Delta, Sigma Delta Tau and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs are lending support.

To support the campaign, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child- or family- serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)

“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our call to action must be to change our personal behavior, attitudes and social norms to value children; all children.”

In addition to the New York City event on Tuesday, April 8, the organization will host another Big Pinwheel Garden in Chicago on Wednesday, April 16, at Navy Pier, and Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters will conduct pinwheels-focused events throughout April, including a pinwheel garden event hosted by Nebraska’s First Lady in downtown Lincoln, NE; a “pinwheel garden” of 1,000 pinwheels in Indianapolis (each representing 87 healthy births for the 87,000 children born annually in Indiana); and pinwheel rallies at state capitals around the country.

 

 

 

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