Op-Ed: Childhood Begins At Home – Bucks County Courier Times

Children don’t come with a book of instructions. Many young, first-time parents don’t have the knowledge, experience or supports to take care of themselves or their children during the first few years of life. Home visits do an incredible job at bridging the obstacles that too often hold children and their parents back from reaching their full potential. These programs build strong families resulting in safe communities.

All families need support, but for parents living in poverty or facing other risk factors, the access to support and resources that evidence-based home visiting programs provide becomes even more critical.

In Bucks County, families can benefit from several evidence-based home visiting programs proven to improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect and improve family literacy and economic security. They include Early Head Start, Healthy Families America and Parents as Teachers.

Read the full article on the Bucks County Courier Times >

The coalition is working to build successful families in Washington and Greene Counties, joining leaders for an event at Blueprints.

Back row: Lissa Geiger Shulman, Director of Public Policy, Trying Together; Brenda Fronzaglio, Director, Blueprints; state Senator Camera Bartolotta; and Leigh Carlson Hernandez, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh.

Front row: Renee Cooper, Blueprints parent; Darlene Bigler, CEO of Blueprints; Joan Benso, president and CEO of PPC; and Dr. Robert Cicco, PPC board member, neonatologist and president of the Allegheny County Medical Society.

Childhood Begins at Home officially launches at an event at the Lancaster Women and Babies Hospital.

Back row:  State Representative Steven Mentzer; State Representative Brett Miller; State Representative Bryan Cutler; State Representative Mike Sturla; State Representative Keith Greiner; and Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman.

Front row: Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children; Shyanne Troop of Ephrata and her daughter; Mary Lee Steffy, manager of community health and wellness at Nurse-Family Partnership; and Theresa Whitesel, RN supervisor of Nurse-Family Partnership.

Family support advocates, including Chester County Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC) executive director Milena Lanz and Bruce Clash, Pennsylvania State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids at a Childhood Begins at Home campaign event at MCHC in West Chester.

Child advocates, including Delaware County Medical Society executive director David McKeighan, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children president and CEO Joan Benso and Maternity Care Coalition senior director of policy Rosemarie Halt at a Childhood Begins at Home campaign event at the Maternity Care Coalition in Upper Darby.