Family Lifeline has presented Hanover County with their Woodson Champion for Families Award, recognizing a partnership that provides early childhood home visiting services to pregnant women and families with a child up to 5 years of age.
Hanover’s evidence based home visiting program, Hanover Parents as Teachers, served 24 families and 24 children during the past fiscal year. A joint effort between Family Lifeline and the local government, the program is now in its fifth year.
Family Lifeline gives the Woodson Champion for Families Award to recognize outstanding service to the community, society, and humanity. Award recipients this year were Mary Munford and the Hanover County government, represented at the ceremony by Board of Supervisors Chairman Canova Peterson, Deputy County Administrator Jim Taylor and Department of Community Resources Administrator Lisa Adkins.
Hanover County is unique in its support of childhood home visiting, said Amy Strite, President and CEO of Family Lifeline. A free and voluntary program, participants in Hanover Parents as Teachers receive case management and home visitation services as well as mental health evaluation and treatment.
Taylor noted that 76% of the families served were living below the federal poverty level, and more than half experienced food insecurity.
“Because of this great partnership, we are making a difference in our community, helping children come to school ready to learn and helping to mitigate some of the impact of living in poverty,” Taylor said.
“This unique relationship is really a great example of a public private partnership, maximizing our resources in the most cost effective and beneficial manner,” Peterson said. “It’s true that parents are the first and best teachers for their children. Sometimes they need a little support. It’s also true that we are planting shade trees that we will never sit under. This program represents a great investment in our future.”
The Board of Supervisors approved the program in 2015.