Is there anything more precious than a newborn wrapped in a parent’s loving arms? Family members come from far and wide to see the precious little one. But imagine that you are a young mother or father with no blanket in which to wrap your baby and no family coming to celebrate his birth. The Baby Fold wraps its arms around these at-risk new families.
The Healthy Start program is totally voluntary, but requires commitment from the mother or father to invite a Family Support Worker into their home bi-weekly through the remainder of the pregnancy and weekly during the first nine months of her baby’s life. The program is based on the belief that a parent is the child’s first teacher, and the Support Worker brings many interactive ideas to help parents and baby relate and bond. The Support Worker becomes a trusted friend, a tie to other community resources, and a resource on so many “what do I do” concerns. Not only does the Support Worker help the parent relate to their child, but they also help the mother or father build a safe and economically viable environment for their family. At the end of the Healthy Start program, the family graduates, knowing they have the resources and knowledge to manage the stresses of life.
No other program offers weekly home visits to first-time parents with a range of supportive, educational, and resource links as Healthy Start.
Meet some Healthy Start moms and kids!
- Lives in either McLean or Champaign Counties
- Expectant moms, dads, or families OR those with babies under 3 months old
Healthy Start accepts referrals from anyone. Most referrals come from the health department, hospitals, and schools. Some referrals come from pregnant mothers who heard of Healthy Start from a friend or family member. Referrals can be called into our office or a referral form can be completed and returned.
All Healthy Start services, from referral to case closing, are offered voluntarily. Parents choose to participate (it is not a mandated program) and they can discontinue services at any point of the service delivery continuum without any repercussions. Once enrolled in the program, parents can participate in home visiting services until their child turns five years old.
Home visits: Family Support Workers meet families in their homes, or wherever they are comfortable to meet and talk about pregnancy and parenting topics specific to the families’ needs. Family Support Workers share information on a wide variety of topics including pregnancy, fetal development, preparing for labor and delivery, newborn care, feeding, sleeping, reading and responding to infant cues, child development, parenting techniques, stress management, home safety, and postpartum depression. Every home visit includes parent-child activities and focuses on supporting the parent-child relationship. Family Support Workers assist parents in identifying their strengths and needs, establishing family goals, and linking with community resources.
Groups: Healthy Start offers family fun events and support groups throughout the year for all Healthy Start families.
Books: Thanks to First Book McLean County, every child in the Healthy Start program receives one new book a month.
Baby items: Healthy Start can assist participating families with some baby items on occasion. This includes diapers, wipes, home safety items, blankets, clothes, pacifiers, etc. The availability of these items varies throughout the year.
The Baby Fold’s Healthy Start program is accredited by Healthy Families America.
The Baby Fold
614 Oglesby Avenue
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: (309) 557-1027
The Baby Fold
154C Lincoln Square
Urbana, IL 61801
Call or text: (309) 532-7398
There are ongoing needs to help support the programs and services of The Baby Fold. The document below contains specific needs for Healthy Start.