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Healthy Families Arizona™ (HFAz)

Vision:

Every child in Arizona grows up in a safe, nurturing and healthy family that prepares them for success in school and life.

Mission:

The mission of Healthy Families Arizona is to enhance parent-child relationships, optimize child health and development, build on family strengths and prevent child abuse and neglect. 

Program Description:

The HFAz program started delivering services in October 1991 and is a credentialed, home-based, voluntary program serving families at risk during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.  Program services are designed to strengthen families during the first five years of a child’s life when vital early brain development occurs.  HFAz is a prevention program dedicated to supporting families in their quest to be the best parents they can be.

HFAz is a highly effective program based on over a decade of consistent annual program evaluations.  HFAz meets nationally established research-based, best-practice standards for quality service delivery, management and operations.  All HFAz sites are required to maintain the standards necessary to stay in compliance with the Healthy Families America® credential. 

Program Eligibility:  

The infant must be under three months of age at enrollment into the program as services are focused primarily on prevention through education and support in the homes of new parents.  Intake into the HFAz program is a two stage process.  Pregnant women and parents of newborns who score positive on the Initial Screen are then interviewed using the Parent Survey.  Those individuals who score 25 or more on the Parent Survey are offered the program.  This intake process has been successful in identifying individuals who have stressors that might lead to bad outcomes for their children such as. 

  • poverty, unemployment, lack of education, lack of health insurance
  • lack of  prenatal care, low birth weight of baby
  • high life stressors, single or teen parenthood
  • having a baby with special needs or disabilities
  • history of abuse or neglect as a child
  • social isolation, lack of available friends and family for support
  • substance abuse, domestic violence, or mental illness

Program Goals and Services:

Major program goals are to:

  • enhance positive parent/child interaction
  • promote child health & development
  • prevent child abuse and neglect.  

HFAz services include:

  • linking families with community services, health care, child care, and housing
  • encouraging self-sufficiency through education and employment
  • providing child development, nutrition, and safety education
  • teaching & supporting appropriate parent-child interaction and discipline
  • providing periodic developmental assessments and referrals if delayed
  • providing emotional support and encouragement to parents
  • clinical support is available for staff consultation on difficult issues 

Intensity of services is based on each family’s needs, beginning weekly and moving gradually to quarterly home visits as families become more self-sufficient.  Healthy Families services may continue if needed until the child turns five years old.  

When to Refer to HFAz:

If you are working with a pregnant woman or a family of a newborn baby who is under the age of 3 months, who may have any of the risk factors listed above, and they may benefit from intensive weekly visits, you can make a referral to the Healthy Families program in your community.  Please refer to the attached HFAz contact list. 

Program Evaluation and Effectiveness:

Healthy Families Arizona is a highly effective program based on over a decade of consistent annual program evaluations.  A total of 3,135 families were reached by Healthy Families programs between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. This represents all families in the program regardless of how long they’ve been in the program.  The average length of time that families continued in the program was 317 days.  The evaluation highlights both the prenatal and postnatal services.  Outcomes in 2011 for families after 12 months in the program include the following: 

  • Child Abuse and Neglect:       99.9% of participating families had no substantiated CPS reports 
  • Substance Abuse:                51.6% had an initial positive screening at 2 months, while that percentage decreased to
                                            19.5% at 6 months, and 16.1% at 12 months 
  • Child Health:                       62.7% immunization rate for babies by 12 month 
  • Child Safety:                       96.9% of parents lock up household poisons
                                            97.7% use car seats at 24 months
                                            91.8% use smoke alarms at 24 months
  • Maternal Life Course:            32% employed at 24 months
                                            11.4% enrolled in school full-time,
                                            6.3% enrolled part-time 
  • Maternal Stress:                  Significant improvement in several areas including:
                                            Problem Solving, Personal Care, Mobilizing Resources,
                                            Depression, Home Environment and Parenting Efficacy 

For more information, contact:

Contact

Phone Number

Address

Betsy Long
BLong@azdes.gov

602-542-0218 1789 W. Jefferson Street, Site Code 940A
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Esthela Navarro
ENavarro@azdes.gov
520-281-1947 x 249 1843 N. State Drive, Site Code 643C
Nogales, AZ 85621
Darryl Bailey
DBailey@azdes.gov
602-542-2372 1789 W. Jefferson Street, Site Code 940 A
Phoenix, AZ 85007

                                                                      

                        

                                 

 



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