Early Childhood
Home Visiting

Home visiting helps to support a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development during the first years of life. By working with parents or caregivers of children from newborn to age 3, in their homes, we are able to work and track progress to ensure that children meet critical developmental milestones.

Home visitors establish a customized Individual Family Support Plan for each family at their first meeting and track progress based on their goals. Activities guide parents and children in sharing and learning activities that improve gross motor, language, fine motor, social, and emotional skills. Parent curriculum includes good maternal or paternal and child health, home safety, food security, positive parenting, and school readiness. Caregiver reflections and home visitor observations help measure the caretaker’s knowledge of child development.

Some of the curriculums or specific programs used in home visiting services include Beyond Parenting, BabyTALK, Early Head Start, Healthy Families Illinois, Parents as Teachers, and Prevention Initiative.

Doulas

The doula program connects pregnant participants in our existing home visiting programs to trained doulas who provide support during the critical times of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting.

Doulas are experienced professionals who provide physical, emotional, and educational support for before, during, and after childbirth. A doula does not replace medical personnel such as a doctor or midwife. Pre-birth, a participant in the doula program can expect education on topics such as pre- and post-natal care, early referrals to healthcare and supportive services, and labor coaching. Using a doula helps create a safe environment to give birth, assists with breastfeeding and lactation, and provides a support system for families to help with anything unexpected.

Preschool

Preschool for children from six weeks to 5 years old is available at Family Focus Hyde Park and Family Focus South Shore, including Head Start, a federally funded early childcare and education program for qualifying families. The comprehensive preschool program promotes school readiness, and provides nutritious meals and free medical and dental services. For details about each preschool’s offerings, please visit the Hyde Park or South Shore pages for more information.

Click here to view the FY2020 Annual Program Report.

Coordinated Intake

Coordinated Intake is a collaborative process that provides families with a single point of entry for home visiting programs within a community. Trained Coordinated Intake workers serve as a hub for home visiting by assessing families’ needs, referring them to an appropriate home visiting program, and tracking what happens to the referrals. Coordinated intake is a strategy to increase access to home visiting and other high-quality early childhood services, and to address the fragmentation and make better connections among service providers and systems.

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