Healthy Families - Center for Early Relationship Support® - Family & Children - Our Services - Jewish Family & Children's Service
 
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Healthy Families

Healthy Families of JF&CS is a free, voluntary, and confidential home visiting program for first-time pregnant and/or parenting moms and dads 23 years old and younger. 

A pregnant woman and a young couple with a baby.

Weekly visits are provided in your home, virtually, or at a agreed upon location in your community, beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the first six months of your baby’s life. The visits are then adjusted to meet a family’s needs until your child turns three. The program works with each family to define their strengths and to set and achieve personal goals, learn about child development and parenting, and work towards becoming the parent one hopes to be.

*During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are adopting a hybrid home visiting model including both in-person visits and virtual visits. Healthy Families Central Middlesex continues to accept new referrals.  

 

Can I be in Healthy Families Central Middlesex (HFCM)?

To be part of HFCM you must be:

  • 23 years old or younger
  • A first-time parent
  • Pregnant or parenting a child under one year old
  • Living in one of the following towns:
    • Acton
    • Arlington
    • Bedford
    • Belmont
    • Boxborough
    • Burlington
    • Cambridge
    • Carlisle
    • Concord
    • Lexington
    • Lincoln
    • Littleton
    • Needham
    • Newton
    • Somerville
    • Waltham
    • Watertown
    • Wellesley
    • Weston
    • Wilmington
    • Winchester
    • Woburn

Can I be in Healthy Families if I move?

Every town in Massachusetts has a Healthy Families program. If you move to a town outside of the ones listed above, we can switch you to the program that covers your new area.

Who will be coming to my house to visit me?

Each family will be assigned a parent coach we call a Family Support Advocate (FSA). Each of our advocates are caring, non-judgmental, and trained early childhood professionals. We offer services in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Cape Verdean Creole.

What can Healthy Families do for me and my family?

Healthy Families supports young, first-time parents to create stable, nurturing environments for their children. Family Support Advocates provide information about proper baby care, promote nurturing, attachment, and positive parenting skills and ensure parents have a solid understanding of healthy child development. Young parents are supported as they work toward achieving their own personal goals and are connected to area resources to help them learn to advocate for themselves and their children.

Will I be able to meet other young parents?

Yes! Healthy Families offers multiple parent groups each year for the young parents participating in our program, including parent support, social activities and parent-child groups. These groups offer opportunities for young parents to meet each other and learn together. Our groups have included infant massage, cooking, visiting local farms and zoos, yoga, apple picking and much more.

How long can I be part of Healthy Families?

You can be a part of Healthy Families until your first child turns three years old.

How much does Healthy Families cost?

Healthy Families is FREE! We are funded by the Children’s Trust of Massachusetts.

What are the goals of the program?

Healthy Family’s goals are to:

  1. Reduce child abuse and neglect by supporting nurturing parenting
  2. Achieve optimal health, growth, and development in infancy and early childhood
  3. Promote educational attainment, job readiness, and life skills
  4. Reduce repeat teen pregnancies
  5. Promote optimal parental health and wellness

What are the resources you can connect me with?

We can connect you to multiple resources, including many at Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS).

  • Food assistance
  • WIC
  • Transitional assistance
  • HiSET programs
  • Community programs
  • Housing resources
  • Fuel assistance
  • ESL classes
  • Immigration services
  • Domestic Violence services

 

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for the program by calling the Healthy Families Program Coordinator at 781-693-1232. Also, anyone can call to refer a young parent as long as the young parent has agreed to be referred and agreed to be contacted to learn more about our Healthy Families program.

For more information, call 781-693-1232 or email your questions via our contact us page.
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