Healthy Families America (HFA) is a home visitation program designed for parents facing challenges such as single parenthood, low income, childhood history of abuse and other adverse child experiences, and current or previous issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence.

HFA aims to:

  • reduce child maltreatment
  • improve parent-child interactions and children’s social-emotional well-being
  • increase school readiness
  • promote child physical health and development
  • promote positive parenting
  • promote family self-sufficiency
  • increase access to primary care medical services and community services; and decrease child injuries and emergency department use

In a recent #BlueandYouChat, we spoke with Ruth Martinez-Sosa, the Program Supervisor of Healthy Families America at our Antelope Valley sites. Ruth has worked with children and families for 16 years and has been with Children’s Bureau for nearly 12 years. Continue reading to learn more about what the Healthy Families America program has to offer.

Children’s Bureau: How can our upbringing influence the person/parent we become?

Ruth Martinez-Sosa: Our childhood experiences shape our brain chemistry and we are triggered to react like we were treated. However, with early intervention and prevention programs, change is possible.

CB: What are some common challenges parents face with their children and where do you look for support to overcome those challenges?

RMS: Tantrums, talking back, pre-teen attitude and moments of complete exhaustion are a challenge. I have a supportive family, friends and church community that I turn to for help. There are also parent support groups that offer help.

CB: How does Healthy Families America help prepare families for parenthood?

RMS: Healthy Families America offers services prenatally to educate families in fetal development and how to prepare for baby’s arrival. We also link them to resources, which may include concrete help (baby items), breastfeeding support, and more.

CB: How does HFA promote parent-child bonding?

RMS: At Healthy Families America, we encourage reading, playing and singing. Not only do we offer breastfeeding support, infant massage, parent education, child development and maternal depression screenings, we provide hands-on activities that promote bonding and attachment.

If you are pregnant or gave birth less than 3 months ago, live in Antelope Valley and would like to enroll in the Healthy Families America program, please contact Sandra Ramirez at 661-341-3060 or sandraramirez@all4kids.org.