I am excited to share with you that the Worcester Together Fund awarded us a grant to start the first Universal Newborn Home Visiting program here in Worcester. For many years, Pernet Family Health Service has been known for our expert and highly effective home visiting practices, and for skillful identification of health and developmental risk factors. With this new program, we will provide new parents in Worcester with every opportunity to succeed and to raise a healthy, safe child. We will do this as a collaboration with Family Health Center of Worcester, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, and Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative.
At the visit, the mother and child will be assessed as to their welfare, living conditions, support systems, general health and risk factors. Some new mothers will simply need reassurance and best wishes. Others will require supportive services. Appropriate referrals will be made, resulting in an at-risk parent beginning to receive support and services before reaching the point of crisis.
Our focus will be on the prevention of abuse, neglect and developmental delays in a newborn. We also seek to improve maternal health by reducing postpartum depression, connecting at-risk or struggling mothers with supportive resources, and reinforcing the importance of postpartum visits.
In the new few weeks, we will be working on the final details of this program. We wish to give families a healthier start.