Family Services, Oswego County Health Department

Meghan Allison Sherry Crisafulli Mary D'Amico Melissa Edick Melissa Lisk, RN Emily Hinman Tammy Thompson Darcy Ahern Kristy Buskey BS, FRS/FSS Vera Dunsmoor, DPS Chantel Eckert, DNP, SPHN, Program Manager Patricia Eggleton, PHN, FRS/FSS Anna Reitz, PHN, FRS/FSS Jennifer Walts, Sr. Accountant

Background:When families are strong, the community is strong. Family Support provides a community-based, integrated network for the provision of resources and services to: needy families; the healthy development of children; and for the improvement of parenting practices. For decades, the Children with Special Needs Division has provided support to families with qualifying children aged 0 to 21. Division staff work as a team to make sure families of children with special needs are connected with services that are appropriate to meet the child's and families' needs. The team is committed to helping families through the complicated and often daunting application processes required to access services.

Child maltreatment is directly linked to poor outcomes across the lifespan. To address this problem in Oswego County, the department implemented the Healthy Families evidence-based home visiting program as a pilot in 2017. The program offers long term support, from pregnancy to early childhood, including helping families access community resources and services, educating families on parenting and child development, connecting families with medical providers, and assessing children for developmental delays. The Healthy Families staff recognize that all families have strengths, and the team uses reflective strategies to build protective factors for family success. By building a solid foundation for the program, the team demonstrates a commitment to improving outcomes for children, families, and the community. In 2019, the team, including fiscal staff, secured funding and became an official affiliate of the Healthy Families New York multisite system, accredited by Healthy Families America.