Chief Programs Officer
Healthy Families Virginia
Healthy Families Virginia home visitors are living, breathing
how-to manuals, supporting parents as they establish nurturing parent-child relationships, develop positive parenting skills, provide safe homes, and learn to support healthy child development.
Healthy Families Virginia's evidence-based model is rooted in the belief that early nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long healthy development. Families work to reduce risks and build resiliency so that they can raise healthy children who are ready to learn.
Families are typically referred prenatally or at the time of the baby’s delivery. Families will receive an initial visit, during which their strengths and needs are identified. A determination is then made about whether Healthy Families or other services in the community are right for them. Families are voluntarily connected to community resources they prefer.
Healthy Families Virginia is a good fit for parents with multiple stressors, such as single parenthood; low income; limited knowledge about infant and child development; history of abuse or adverse childhood experiences; personal trauma; and issues related to substance abuse, mental health, and/or domestic violence.
Families who do best in the program are willing to receive at least one home visit per week for the first six months after the baby’s birth. After that the frequency is determined by their needs and progress. Families have the choice to receive services until the child enters preschool or until the child’s fifth birthday. Families must enroll prenatally or within three months of birth. There are no income restrictions.
Healthy Families Works.
Improved parenting knowledge & skills
Prevention of child abuse and neglect
Increased school readiness
Improved child health and development
Increased access to primary care and community services
Decreased child injuries and emergency department use
Improved family self-sufficiency
Healthy Families Virginia Programs
A Healthy Families Success Story
When Vee discovered she was expecting a child, she was both excited and nervous. However, nothing could prepare her for the challenges her son, Jay, would face when he was born. Jay was diagnosed with spina bifida, a medical condition caused by incomplete development of the backbone and spinal cord. This condition can cause a slew of potential issues, such as leg weakness and paralysis, and even neurological disorders. Vee was told that her son would never be able to walk. As a single mother with limited resources, Vee didn’t know where to turn. All she knew was that she needed help.
Vee’s doctor recommended the Healthy Families program in her community for support and assistance for Jay’s development, as well as her depression, which surfaced after giving birth to her youngest son. When Vee first met with her Healthy Families family support worker, Mayra Zepeda, she shared her concerns about Jay’s diagnosis, as well as her depression. Mayra provided Vee with
the tools and resources she needed to ensure both she and Jay
Jay began performing daily exercises to ensure he was on par with his age group developmentally. He also received specialized assistance in areas of concern, particularly with his legs and his mobility. Mayra also connected Vee with a therapist to receive mental health counseling for depression in an effort to be the best mother she could be for Jay.
Thanks to the Healthy Families program, Vee is feeling more
hopeful. And Jay is now taking his first steps! “Thanks to Healthy Families, my child is doing much better,” shared Vee. “It’s been a 180-degree turn.”
Click here to view Healthy Families Success Story video from Family Lifeline and Lucas Templeton Productions.