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County-Wide Home Visiting Program Found to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect
Date:12/6/2007

wo years of the target child's

birth for 92% of all mothers and 100% of teens.

-- A full 95% of target children received the recommended schedule of

immunizations, surpassing the state and national rates of 78%.

-- And 96% of target children met developmental milestones, providing

strong evidence of the program's ability to impact environmental

factors in developmental delays.

HFM is highly effective at promoting self-sufficiency among mothers, which is key to preventing depression and stress -- both major risk factors for child abuse. For example, among program participants, the number of working moms went from 25% to 48%. Ninety-four percent either maintained stable housing or improved their housing status.

According to the study, the most successful HFM participants are likely to be Hispanic, with Spanish as the primary language, and become high school graduates or continue their education while enrolled in the program. However, the most successful participants who ultimately graduate from the program are also likely to have the highest risk at program entry in the areas of social isolation, depression, and unsafe homes.

HFM, an accredited Healthy Families America program, serves first-time parents who are faced with an array of challenges which may include: limited education, maternal depression, insufficient knowledge of normal child development, poverty, substance abuse issues, limited self-sufficiency, or who experienced abuse or neglect as a child. The program is set up to help families attain self-sufficiency and confidence as a parent via an on-going goal setting process. The home visitor further supports the family with child development education and linkage to community resources.

The Healthy Families Montgomery Ten Year Longitudinal study was conducted by Donna D. Klagholz, Ph.D. & Associates, LLC. For a copy of the study, contact Janet Curran at HFM, 610 East Diamond Avenue,
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SOURCE Family Services Agency
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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