Too many at-risk Lancaster County kids go without home visits that reduce abuse, delinquency, advocates say

Back-to-back crises tested Shyanne Troop, a 20-year-old, first-time mom: her newborn suffered a stroke and her marriage dissolved.

Through each trial, Troop was thankful a knowledgeable and compassionate registered nurse was in her corner.

Since early in Troop’s pregnancy, Kendra French with Nurse-Family Partnership made regular home visits, checking on the mother-to-be’s health and her pregnancy’s progress, and answering questions about childbirth and motherhood.

And when life-shaking challenges arose, French proved to be a friend and lifeline.

Troop, now 22, of Ephrata, is one of more than 250 first-time Lancaster County mothers the program serves, and she spoke at a news conference Thursday launching a statewide campaign to build support for additional state funding of home-visiting programs.

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The coalition is working to build successful families in Montour and Columbia Counties,  joining leaders for an event at the Danville Childhood Development Center.

Those in attendance were: Angela Mattis, Montour County District Attorney; Ashley Mensch, director, Columbia County Family Center; Allison Shay, parent educator, Parents as Teachers; a mother benefiting from voluntary home visits and Kari King, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Childhood Begins at Home held an event in March to highlight the need for more evidence-based home visiting in Montgomery County.

Those who participated included:

  • Nadine Miller, deputy administrator, Resource Division, Office of Children and Youth, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Kevin Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney;
  • Rosemarie Halt, senior director of policy, Maternity Care Coalition;
  • A mother benefiting from voluntary home visits; and
  • Kari King, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Family support advocates joined together at the Kingsley Center to discuss the need for evidence-based home visiting in Allegheny County.

The event included:

  • Marc Cherna, director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services;
  • Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department;
  • Cara Ciminillo, executive director of Trying Together;
  • Local families benefiting from voluntary home visits; and
  • Kari King, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Lycoming County First Assistant District Attorney Martin Wade, joined with the Nurse-Family Partnership and other statewide and regional partners for a press conference at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, to discuss evidence-based home visiting and the Childhood Begins at Home campaign’s efforts to ensure more state funding for the programs in Lycoming County.