PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Health has awarded more than $2 million in new funding to eight community-based agencies to provide evidence-based home visiting services for pregnant women and families with young children in Rhode Island.
Through the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, the funds will provide long-term Healthy Families America support services to families in Coventry, Cranston, East Providence, and Westerly, and expand current services in Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, West Warwick, and Woonsocket. The funding will serve approximately 400 additional families.
Healthy Families enrolls pregnant women and families with infants. Trained specialists, called Family Support Workers, continue to work with a family until the child is three years old. The specialists can help expectant mothers and families access community resources and supports, such as WIC or child care services, and plan for education and jobs.
The specialists offer encouragement and emotional support for parents to grow more self-sufficient and confident in their roles as parents, and they help parents understand and stimulate their children’s development, including age-appropriate milestones.