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Children's Trust to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect by Expanding Proven Home Visiting Programs to 38 S.C. Counties
5/2/2014 1:00:23 PM

Columbia, S.C. - Children's Trust of South Carolina announced today it will expand its home visiting program to 22 additional counties, bringing the total number served to 38. Home visiting programs involve trained professionals working alongside families -- in their home -- to promote positive parenting skills, going back to school, learning how to stay healthy, understanding how to keep their newborn children safe and connecting to support systems in their communities.

"The expansion of our Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program means more families and communities, especially those in under-served areas of the state, will now have access to critical family-strengthening programs," said Sue Williams, chief executive officer of Children's Trust. "We are looking forward to working with these like-minded partners who are committed to promoting strong families and growing healthy children."

Since 2011 Children's Trust has worked with local agencies throughout South Carolina to make home visiting available through evidence-based program models. These newly announced partners will implement the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) or Healthy Steps program model. They will begin serving families in the coming months. The financial investment of the expansion is anticipated to exceed $5.8 million.

NFP is designed for first-time, low-income mothers and their children The following NFP sites were selected based on community-partner readiness as well as local need:

South Carolina Office of Rural Health through Low Country Healthy Start will serve Orangeburg County; and

McLeod Regional Medical Center through McLeod Home Health (Florence) will serve Darlington, Dillon, Florence and Marlboro counties.

Healthy Steps is designed to emphasize a close relationship between health care professionals and parents in addressing the physical, emotional and intellectual growth and development of children from birth to age 3. The following sites will serve families through pediatrician offices, family practitioners, clinics and other medical practices:

All Children's Pediatrics (Beaufort) will serve Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties;

Barnwell Pediatrics PA (Barnwell) will serve Allendale and Barnwell counties;

Center for Pediatric Medicine, Children's Hospital of the Greenville Health System (Greenville) will serve Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg and Pickens counties;

Children's Hospital Outpatient Center (Columbia) will serve Calhoun, Kershaw, Lexington, Richland and Sumter counties;

Eau Claire Cooperative Health (Columbia) will serve Aiken, Calhoun, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter and York counties;

Georgetown Pediatric Center (Georgetown) will serve Georgetown, Williamsburg and Berkeley counties; and

Little River Medical Center (Little River) will serve Horry and Georgetown counties.

"Backed with evidence and science, these proven, early-intervention strategies can break generational cycles of dysfunction," said Williams. "Prolonged exposure to toxic environments can have a profound, long-term impact and hinder a child's social, emotional and cognitive development. Such exposure may further lead to individuals engaging in high-risk behaviors and having physical and mental health challenges."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration's, Maternal and Child Health Bureau funds and supports the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (CFDA #: 93.505).

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