Partnering with pediatricians in Guilford County, the specialists on CHS’s HealthySteps team are helping to ensure that families feel supported as they face the challenges of parenting young children. A diverse team with a variety of expertise in early childhood development, education, social work, early childhood interventions, maternal mental health, counseling, and public health, they are currently based in 11 pediatric offices. They have worked with almost 4,000 children just this year. Also, they have been warmly welcomed by the medical staff to help meet the needs of their patients. One participating practitioner states:
“They not only meet with families in our office, but also make follow up phone calls and reminder text messages and offer resources far beyond what I have to offer. HealthySteps is a critical service in this way. High risk families, who may otherwise be struggling, have a consistent support person to call for help thanks to HealthySteps.”
Providing upstream support so that more children can thrive with their families and avoid crises that could necessitate future foster care, CHS equips the HealthySteps specialists to provide a wide range of support. Supports include identifying postpartum depression; addressing housing, food, and childcare needs; providing helpful behavioral and developmental guidance; and so much more. As specialist Janet Groce-Fields puts it:
“HealthySteps allows me to join with physicians and families in real-life moments, to support the family by building their capacity to become more knowledgeable, encouraged, and more confident in understanding their child’s development and the interrelatedness of health and development on life-long well-being.”
To learn more about HealthySteps and other supporting programs for families, please go to https://www.chsnc.org/new-early-childhood-development-program/ or contact us at 1-800-632-1400.