Local Help Me Grow earns accreditation

Leading national child abuse prevention organization accredits Healthy Families America site in Gallia and Meigs

Staff Report

CHESHIRE — Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) announced this week that the Healthy Families America (HFA) affiliate, Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency (GMCAA) Help Me Grow has been accredited as a provider of high quality home visiting services to pregnant families and families with infants and young children.

HFA is the signature program of PCA America and has been providing home visiting services for nearly 30 years. Expectant and new parents have common questions about their child’s development. HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to support parents, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. HFA is an accessible, voluntary and well received service.

“HFA sites utilize evidence-based best practices to provide individualized support to families when needed most, and linkages to community services,” said Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of PCA America. “We congratulate GMCAA Help Me Grow and we commend the staff for their leadership and commitment that has contributed to this most notable and highly regarded achievement.”

The accreditation process is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research. The process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operation, as well as, the quality of the visits made by HFA home visitors.

“We commend the GMCAA Help Me Grow for opening itself up to such an intensive review process,” said Kathleen Strader, National Director of HFA. “We believe that all families and all communities deserve access to quality home visiting services.”

The HFA site for Gallia and Meigs Counties is located at 8010 State Route 7 North, Cheshire, Ohio.

“We are very excited and proud to receive recognition from Healthy Families of America acknowledging the quality service our program provides to the families in Gallia and Meigs Counties”, stated Lora Rawson, GMCAA Executive Director. “I applaud the Help Me Grow Home Visitors for their dedication to serving these families and look forward to continued efforts to assist our residents.”

Chelsey Kloes, GMCAA Board of Directors and HFA Committee Chair expresses, “Congratulations to each involved in the process of the accreditation, from the collaboration of the Board of Directors, the HFA committee and the GMCAA staff, who all worked diligently to complete this process. I believe this huge achievement will help strengthen the services provided to families as well as the connections within Gallia and Meigs Counties.”

Home visitors in each community receive extensive training on a wide range of topics important to just about every new parent, such as: caring for a new baby, ensuring the baby is receiving the nutrition needed, promoting healthy child development, and coping with a myriad of other potential stresses, such as financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family.

PCA America was established in 1972 with the belief that child abuse and neglect is preventable. The not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization is committed to preventing child abuse in all forms through education, research, public awareness, and public policy development. Today, PCA America has 50 statewide chapters.

PCA America implemented the Healthy Families America (HFA) initiative in 1992. HFA serves families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, meeting the needs of close to 600 communities in 38 states, D.C., the U.S. Territories and Israel.

Healthy Families America is an effective and proven evidence-based home visiting program according the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PCA America is proud to support HFA and to be part of a national movement dedicated to improving the lives of families and children.

Information provided by Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency.

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Leading national child abuse prevention organization accredits Healthy Families America site in Gallia and Meigs

Staff Report