The Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services has been providing home visitation services for several decades. An expansion on that practice is the Healthy Babies program, through which social service staff conduct home visits at least once per month providing support services and educational materials using the Partners for a Healthy Baby Curriculum. As part of the support, parents are provided with health and safety items such as car seats, cribs, clothing, diapers, WIC, food stamps, Medicaid and breastfeeding support, as well as encouragement in building healthy relationships. CTF provides grant funding for a portion of the Healthy Babies program. We spoke with Steve Hollis, Human Services Manager, about Healthy Babies and its effectiveness.
Hollis says recent research supports the idea that the first years of life are extremely important and should get a lot of focus. The Healthy Babies program is a great fit for investing in early childhood development.
AUDIO: Steve Hollis discusses Healthy Babies’ investment in the stages of early life.
For many of the families involved, they may not realize their own needs before becoming a part of Healthy Babies. But once they begin receiving visits they gain so much that they don’t want it to stop.
AUDIO: Steve Hollis explains the success of Healthy Babies, and why the program works.
CTF funding has given the Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services an opportunity to expand the Healthy Babies program, something Hollis says came at the perfect time.
AUDIO: Steve Hollis explains how CTF’s grant supports Healthy Babies.