LOSOS PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE
ARIZONA CHILDREN’S ASSOCIATION
Our affiliate implements home visits that are inclusive of literacy, developmental, sensory, and health screenings, and provide rich resource linkages conducted by certified Parent Educators, that occur bi-weekly or more often as necessary, to engage parents and families. Each home visit is enhanced with a “Brain Nugget” which is a small gift of valuable information that summarizes research on early brain development that ultimately enriches family literacy. Families are also invited to attend one or more Group Connections per month in various locations in each of our counties. Our families receive seamless integration of services throughout Arizona’s Children Association, inclusive of the S.E.N.S.E. programs as initiated through DCS Prevention and implemented with fidelity to the model.
Our agency has a unique and enhanced capacity to implement our program to parents. Our PAT programs encompass four counties in Arizona, Mohave, LaPaz, Yavapai, and Pinal; proudly providing successful home visitation services for over 17 years. AzCA is the oldest and largest not-for-profit child welfare and behavioral health agency in Arizona. For over 100 years, our agency has stayed true to its mission of “Protecting Children, Empowering Youth and Strengthening Families,” serving more than 46,000 children, individuals and families in every county in the state each year. With nearly 40 programs across the state, we are a “one stop shop” for families, providing seamless integration of programs. We are a proven invaluable resource to children who are vulnerable and parents who want to learn.
LOSOS PRIZE FOR INNOVATION
FORSYTH COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
Our PAT affiliate is hosted by Imprints Cares, a non-profit operating in Forsyth County, NC for more than 40 years. We have a vision to unlock the full potential of children and their families for success in school and in life, and a mission to enrich children’s development while supporting their families on the journey of parenthood. We do this with a variety of programs that impact children and families in our community. Our Ready for School program offers a PAT program to model fidelity, and has created a pediatric partnership which offers less intensive services as well. Our Expanded Learning program offers before and after school care at many local schools, and brings in a revenue stream that supports our non-profit activities. We are currently developing the Family and Neighborhood Academy, which is part of the local United Way Place Matters Initiative. In addition, we are active members of many community initiatives working to create positive change in our area.
Our pediatric partnership is integrally connected to our Parents as Teachers program. The program is based at a community health center, the Downtown Health Plaza, sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist Health. We work closely with the pediatricians there, so when they meet with families and recognize there is a need for more help than they can give in the short time they have, they refer them to us. These families may need assistance with breastfeeding, behavior issues, developmental concerns, or other issues. The family then meets with a family educator immediately if possible, sometimes even in the exam room, or she calls them to set up an appointment. If the family only needs short term assistance, such as breastfeeding help, they may have one or two appointments to resolve their concerns. Children with developmental concerns receive a screening and a referral if needed to address the issue. Families that qualify and are interested in participating in our PAT program are referred there. We have expanded this program to two additional pediatric practices.
We have recently added a new component to this program. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has funded our Pediatric Holistic Health Initiative, which has increased the number of families we can serve both non-intensively and with PAT, and it has enabled us to build a partnership with Family Services of Forsyth County to offer on-site mental health counseling to our families. The counselor can work with parents and with children who have mental health needs, and since the programs are so closely connected, this gives the families encouragement and a warm handoff to services that families are sometimes reluctant to access. This service is available to families that are seen non-intensively at the pediatric sites as well as families enrolled in our PAT program.
Imprints Cares is committed to improving the lives of children and families in Forsyth County. We are constantly working to improve our programs and to reach additional families so we can have a positive effect on families and the community. At Imprints Cares, we shift the odds and tip the balance in a child’s favor by strengthening the family.