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Healthy Families Georgetown

New Program Available in Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg Counties-
Healthy Families Georgetown
By Jodi Giorlando, LPC, Program Manager

Georgetown Pediatrics and St James Santee Family Health Center (FHC) are excited to announce a brand-new program for our area - Healthy Families Georgetown! As a Healthy Families America model, our program is evidence based. It is a 0-3 home visiting program that has been serving families across America and pockets of the rest of the world for the past 25 years. We are pleased to say that, thanks to funding by MIECHV (Maternal, Infant, & Early Childhood Home Visiting) and assistance from the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, our staff has been trained in the Healthy Families Model of Home Visiting. We will begin enrolling parents in November 2017.

Healthy Families Georgetown will work with families in their homes to help them reach their own particular goals. Our program also aims to reduce child maltreatment, improve parent-child interactions, increase children’s social-emotional well-being, and promote school readiness. We provide regular home visits on a schedule that is dictated by the family’s needs. We offer to meet with families weekly for the first 6 months after their baby is born, and we decrease the number of visits as the family gains strength and confidence.

Families can begin meeting with a home visitor (Family Support Worker) prenatally, after the first trimester, or any time before their baby is 1 month old. Targeted families are those who have the following characteristics: young (under 18), single (not married), limited education, a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, limited prenatal care, or other situations which might put them and their young or unborn child at risk. All families enrolled in Healthy Families Georgetown will receive depression screening, domestic violence screening, and psychosocial stressors screening to identify potential pitfalls and to help us make appropriate community referrals. Children of the enrolled families will receive developmental screenings during the first 3 years of their lives to help identify any developmental delays early, allowing us to make timely referrals.

This is an exciting new project, and we are looking forward to working with the families of Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg Counties!

Jodi Giorlando is an active member of the Health Care Collaborative for Children and Youth