BURNSVILLE – Prevent Child Abuse America, or PCA America, announced this past week the Healthy Families America, or HFA, affiliate Blue Ridge Healthy Families has again been accredited as a provider of high-quality home visiting services to pregnant families and families with infants and young children.
HFA is the signature program of PCA America and has been providing home visiting services for nearly 30 years.
Expectant and new parents have common questions about their child’s development. HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to support parents, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. HFA is an accessible, voluntary and well-received service.
“HFA sites utilize evidence-based best practices to provide individualized support to families when needed most and linkages to community services,” said Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of PCA America. “We congratulate BRHF and we commend the staff for their leadership and commitment that has contributed to this most notable and highly regarded achievement.”
The accreditation process is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research.
The process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operation, as well as, the quality of the visits made by HFA home visitors.
“We commend BRHF for opening itself up to such an intensive review process,” said Kathleen Strader, National Director of HFA. “We believe that all families and all communities deserve access to quality home visiting services.”
BRHF Program Director Nickey Stamey said achieving accreditation is not easy.
“This is the second time our program has undergone the accreditation review process, and while it is not easy, we were confident in our work and service to families and felt strongly that our services are fully aligned with the foundational principles of the Healthy Families America model,” Stamey said. “Our site has experienced a lot of transition in the past year so having such a successful review is a testament to the commitment and professionalism of our team. As a site director, I could not be more proud. We appreciate the support of our partners and stakeholders and families and we are especially excited to make our way to Avery County.”
Blue Ridge Healthy Families is a recent recipient of an AMY Wellness Foundation grant and will expand its services into Avery County this spring while continuing to serve Mitchell and Yancey counties.
“Our community is extremely fortunate to have the Blue Ridge Healthy Families program and the services that they provide,” said Schell McCall, Blue Ridge Healthy Families Leadership Team chair. “The recent accreditation is an honorable accomplishment with demanding standards and reflects the dedication to training and desire to meet model fidelity by employees in order to provide the highest level of service to our community families. The positive impacts of this program will be felt for generations to come.”
Home visitors in each community receive extensive training on a range of topics important to just about every new parent, such as: caring for a new baby, ensuring the baby is receiving the nutrition needed, promoting healthy child development, and coping with a myriad of other potential stresses, such as financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family.
PCA America was established in 1972 with the belief that child abuse and neglect is preventable. The not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization is committed to preventing child abuse in all forms through education, research, public awareness, and public policy development. Today, PCA America has 50 statewide chapters.
PCA America implemented the Healthy Families America initiative in 1992.
HFA serves families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, meeting the needs of close to 600 communities in 38 states, D.C., the U.S. Territories and Israel.
Healthy Families America is an effective and proven evidence-based home visiting program according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PCA America is proud to support HFA and to be part of a national movement dedicated to improving the lives of families and children.