Brighter Beginnings has launched a new home visiting program to improve parenting skills and prevent child abuse in Richmond and San Pablo. Called “Hello Baby,” the program matches at-risk parents with trained professionals who provide information, education, and support from pregnancy until children turn two – children’s most critical developmental years.
Research shows that home visiting programs can improve maternal and child health, reduce child maltreatment, increase parental employment, and improve the rate at which children reach developmental milestones. Based on this research, even President Obama has requested more federal funding to expand home visiting services for low-income children and families.
“Meeting parents in their homes has been proven to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect by improving parenting skills, connecting families to social support services, and promoting family self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Barbara Bunn McCullough, Executive Director of Brighter Beginnings. “Our agency has a long history of providing services to families in Richmond and San Pablo. We are thrilled to partner with First 5 Contra Costa to help West County’s most vulnerable children reach their potential.”
Using tablet computers to collect data and access resources, home visitors provide every family with a customized service plan designed to meet their individual needs. Information is provided on topics such as positive parenting, building strong parent-child relationships, child development, breastfeeding, nutrition, immunizations, health insurance, and referrals to local services.
Hello Baby also provides postpartum screening for new mothers, developmental screening for infants and toddlers, and outreach to fathers.
First 5 Contra Costa is allocating a total of $3.6 million over three years to Brighter Beginnings and Aspiranet to provide home visiting services for families in Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, Martinez, Richmond and San Pablo – areas in Contra Costa County with the highest rates of premature births, poverty, crime, domestic violence, and child maltreatment.
To make a referral or learn more about Hello Baby, contact Brighter Beginnings (510) 323-2771.