Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) announced this week that the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) and CEDARS Youth Services achieved accreditation in the Healthy Families America (HFA) model of home visitation. The program is aimed at reducing the risks for child abuse and neglect in Lancaster County. The LLCHD-CEDARS program is the first of its kind to achieve accreditation in Nebraska.
HFA is a signature program of PCA America with more than 30 years of research in the areas of maternal and child health, child development and school readiness. The program also works to reduce child maltreatment, family violence, juvenile delinquency and crime. The accreditation process involves an in-depth examination of the program's operation, as well as the quality of the visits made by HFA home visitors.
"Our home visitors were recognized as 'outstanding' in their level of experience, knowledge of community resources and ability to build trust with the families we are privileged to serve," said Kodi Bonesteel, Program Manager of the home visitation program.
Home visitors receive extensive training to help new parents care for a baby and cope with stress. They also work to ensure the baby is receiving the nutrition needed and to promote healthy child development. The program is based on 12 critical elements representing the most current knowledge available about implementing successful home visitation programs. These include offering services before or at birth, using a standardized assessment tool to identify families who are most in need of services and the use of positive outreach efforts to build family trust.
More information on LLCHD is available at health.lincoln.ne.gov.