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 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.