Abilities Network’s Healthy Families Baltimore County (HFBC) program has been serving families since 1999. Our evidence-based home visiting program is accredited by Healthy Families America and partners with parents to provide individualized information and support that leads to positive outcomes for children and their families. Services are available to Baltimore County residents that live within specified areas and are provided regardless of whether the family includes a person with a disability.
Our goal is to help parents create supportive environments to ensure that:
- Babies are born healthy – Parents who choose to receive services learn how to improve their chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.
- Children grow up healthy – Families who participate in home visits obtain information about health and safety practices, as well as support with ensuring that all family members receive proper medical care and live in an environment that is physically safe.
- Children enter school ready to learn – Home visitors provide early screening for developmental delays and support parents with teaching their children basic skills that help them succeed in school.
- Families live in safe and stable homes – Parents work with staff to set goals and utilize resources to find housing, education and employment opportunities. Families receive support with developing and maintaining positive relationships in order to decrease incidences of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
- Children and families live in supportive communities – Home visitors support parents with advocating for the needs of their families. HFBC collaborates with other community service agencies to provide resources and information that will improve outcomes for all families.
We provide services to families that live within the following areas of Baltimore County:
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Parents who are expecting a child or have just given birth and live in one of the zip codes listed above are eligible for services. Families can refer themselves or they can be referred by another community service provider. If interested in making a referral, please contact us at 410-828-7700.Back to top
Resource and Referral Services
All families that are referred for services are eligible to receive information about community resources available to support them with meeting the basic needs of their families. We know that it can sometimes be difficult for families to get to appointments so staff members are able to meet with parents in their homes to talk about their pregnancy, their parenting plan and their families’ current needs. Based on the information shared, parents receive customized resource packets with information that will help them meet the needs that have been identified. Families are offered home visiting services if they are eligible and space is available.Back to top
Home Visiting Services
Families that have participated in our Resource and Referral services, have been offered Home Visiting services, and choose to participate will receive the following benefits:
- Intensive in-home support – Families begin participating in home visits prenatally and are able to continue receiving support until the child is five years old. We strongly encourage dads, grandparents and/or other caretakers to be a part of our visits.
- Information and connection to community resources – A Family Support Worker will work closely with the family to help them connect with community resources throughout their time in the program.
- Support with keeping children up to date with immunizations and health care visits – Staff will work with parents to ensure that their child’s medical needs are met.
- Parent education using a standardized child development curriculum – Parents will benefit from child development activities and information shared from Growing Great Kids, a curriculum that was chosen by families in the program and is endorsed by Healthy Families America.
- Screening for child developmental delays – Staff will partner with parents to ensure that children are developing on target and will connect them with Infants and Toddlers of Child Find for additional in-home resources if a delay is suspected.
- Family-centered goal planning – Parents will benefit from being able to identify what they want for their families and gain support with implementing a plan to obtain it.
- Access to family groups – Parents and children have the opportunity to join other families in group activities and field trips. It is a great way to meet other parents who are also committed to supporting their child’s development.
Evidence-Based Home Visiting Services
- Child development and school readiness
- Child health
- Maternal health
- Family economic and self-sufficiency
- Linkages and referrals
- Positive parenting
- Reductions in child maltreatment a
- Reductions in juvenile delinquency, family violence and crime
We have integrated the following critical elements of the HFA service model into the program:
- Services are offered voluntarily and are initiated with families prenatally or at birth.
- A standardized tool is used to systematically identify families who are most in need of services.
- Services are offered intensively with criteria for increasing or decreasing intensity of service over time.
- Services are culturally competent and the materials used reflect the diversity of the population served.
- Services focus on supporting the parent as well as parent-child interaction and child development.
- Families are linked to health care providers and are linked to other services based on family needs.
- Services are provided by skilled staff who receive intensive training, ongoing supervision and maintain limited caseloads.
For more information about our evidence-based service model, please visit the following links:
- Healthy Families America
- Administration for Children and Families – Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness
- U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs
- Maryland Maternal and Infant Home Visiting Project
Family Group Meetings
All families that are receiving home visiting services are invited to participate in group meetings that are hosted by HFBC or other collaborating partners. These groups are a wonderful way to spend time as a family and meet other participating families who may have similar interests. Each group has a topic or theme that is chosen based on what families are interested in. Groups may include a speaker, and they always include food and fun activities that parents and children can do together.
Some of the our recent group topics and trips that families have had access to include:
- Dental Health
- Family Fun Day
- Family Movie Night
- Health and Nutrition with Chef Love
- Port Discovery
- Dutch Wonderland
- Winter Holiday Celebration
- Literacy Learning Party – Storyville (Baltimore County Library)
- Taking Care of Me (Parents Only)
- National Zoo
Parents that address challenges with anxiety, depression, anger management and personal relationships are in a better position to take care of the needs of their children. Our staff members work with parents to help them identify and connect with mental health resources in the community. It can be challenging for some families to get to an office for a traditional therapy appointment. Childcare, transportation and illness are just some of the obstacles families may face. If a participating family is unable to utilize community-based therapy resources, we can offer short-term home based therapy services to families.Back to top