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Children’s Home + Aid home visit program earns accreditation

Published: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 11:57 a.m. CDT

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SYCAMORE – Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) announced that the Healthy Families America (HFA) affiliate Healthy Families Illinois, DeKalb County, has been accredited as a provider of high-quality home visiting services to families who want to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes. 

HFA is a signature program of PCA America that has been providing home visiting services for more than 20 years. HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to find the answers to their questions, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. HFA is an accessible, voluntary and well-received service. 

“Parents want to be good parents, and as parents we all have had many questions when it comes to raising a child,” said Jim Hmurovich, president and CEO of PCA America. “HFA’s well-trained home visitors are trusted sources in their own communities. They help provide answers to those questions, individualized support when it is needed most, and linkages to other community services. HFA requires community agency involvement and the commitment of community leaders. As we congratulate Healthy Families Illinois-DeKalb County, we also recognize the state and community leadership that has contributed to success in DeKalb County.”

The accreditation process is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research. The process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operation, as well as the quality of the visits made by HFA home visitors.

“We commend the Healthy Families Illinois-DeKalb County for opening itself up to such an intensive review process,” said Cydney Wessel, National Director of HFA. “We believe that all families and all communities deserve access to quality home visiting services.”   

The HFA site in Sycamore is located at Children’s Home + Aid, 1430 DeKalb Ave.

“DeKalb County Healthy Families is excited to provide high-quality, intensive home visitation services and to create community-wide commitments to services that promote a supportive atmosphere for all new parents,” said Kathy Hicks, program supervisor.

Children’s Home + Aid demonstrates the best way to promote healthy child development, to strengthen families, and to prevent child abuse is by providing parents with education and support beginning with the birth of their first baby through voluntary home visits.  

Home visitors in each community receive extensive training in a wide range of areas that can cause stress and worry: caring for a new baby, ensuring the baby is receiving the nutrition needed, promoting healthy child development and coping with myriad other potential stresses, such as finances, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family. 

“When parental stress can be managed effectively, children enjoy safer, healthier and more loving experiences, regardless of the parent’s income or standing,” said Hmurovich.

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