Questions and Answers

What is a family support visit?

Family support visits are regular meetings with trained helpers. After you sign up for the program, you will be matched with a trained family support provider. You can think of your family support provider like an experienced partner who helps you learn to be the best parent you can be. Your family support provider comes to where you live and gets to know you. You talk about what's going on in your life, and you talk about your child's health and learning. Your family support provider answers your questions and helps with anything that might be worrying you.

How much do family support visits cost?

Family support visits are at no cost to the family.

Who can be in a family support program?

This program is for expectant parents and parents with young children. It is for parents who could use help getting ready for the baby, taking care of more than one child, learning new ways to keep children happy and healthy, getting children ready for school, or understanding how important parents are to a child's learning and well-being.

What are the qualifications of the family support provider?

All family support providers have a lot of training on helping families with young children. In the first year of training, they usually get more than 50 hours of instruction on subjects like parent-child interaction, child development, how to encourage fathers who want to get involved, child health and safety, and so on. Depending on the program, most family support providers have at least a high school diploma and many have college degrees in nursing, health, or early childhood development. Many family support providers are also certified in areas such as CPR and first aid. All get a criminal background check before being hired.

What happens during a visit from my family support provider?

Family support visits are as unique as your family. During each visit, your family support provider will ask how you are doing and answer any questions you might have. Usually, your home visitor will bring activities and materials for you to share. These resources might be about child development, child health, parent-child interaction, safety, different ways to discipline, and so on. These activities help build a good relationship between you and your child. Many will show ways you and your child can spend quality time together.

The family support provider will also work with you to identify goals and find ways to make them happen. This may include things like teaching healthy eating habits to children, creating a bedtime routine, reading to your child every day, and so on. The goals created are always the ones your family wants and needs. They are customized to meet the specific needs of each family.

Is my family support provider going to treat me differently than people who don't need help?

No, because we all need help sometimes. Your family support provider will make you feel comfortable and safe. It's very likely your family support provider has been through something similar to what you're going through, so there are common experiences you can share.

Can we just talk about stuff together?

Yes, talking is a big part of family support. Talking helps you and your family support provider understand your needs and wants. Then you can work together to set goals and create a plan for reaching them.

Can I quit the program if I don't like it?

Yes, the program is completely voluntary, so you can be a part of it for as long as you want. Infants and children are always changing and reaching new milestones. If you do stay in the program, the support you receive will change as your child changes. These can be life-changing lessons that can lead to a better future for you and your family.

Can my family support provider teach me how to be more patient with my children or how to communicate better with family members?

Yes, family support providers can help you find solutions to work through issues like these.