DAYLYNNE'S STORY

Even Experienced Moms Don't Have All the Answers

Daylynne knew nine years ago when she was expecting her first child that she wanted to do all she could to be a good mother. She voluntarily joined our home visitation program. In it, she learned about the milestones of her daughter’s development and got answers to a lot of common parenting questions. The program also connected her to resources that helped alleviate some of the stresses of becoming a parent, including a therapist.

When her third child was on the way seven years later, Daylynne returned to the program for additional support. She also was recently awarded legal guardianship of the eleven-month old child of a friend unable to care for her daughter. “Even with four children, I don’t have all the answers,” said Daylynne. But she feels well supported by the program.

Cornerstones of Care’s home visitation program is an evidence-based child abuse prevention program that was the first program in Missouri to be accredited by Healthy Families America. This free and voluntary program is for parents living in Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties in Missouri that are either expecting a child or have a child three months-old or younger. Through the program, we partner with parents to help them be successful and to ensure their children will be healthy and developmentally on-target. Our home visitors will work with families until the youngest child turns three.

Parents’ first contact with the program is with a family resource specialist, who meets with the family to determine its needs and makes appropriate referrals to resources and services. Once a family is in the program, parents will meet with a Family Support Specialist, like Crystal White, who works closely with them to teach coping skills and develop support systems. Daylynne says she has gained a lot from the resources from the program and even now she finds the monthly group meetings to be the most useful to her and her children, “because it gives information about stuff you can do with your kids you didn’t know about, or stuff you can make, and it also helps them out.”

Home visitation is successful because it is there at the beginning of the parent and child relationship. It can help every parent be ready for the many changes the family will experience during the stressful times that come with the joy of a new baby, so that if anything comes up, they can take care of situations in a positive way.

The family resource specialist can also help back up parents as they work through situations. Crystal will go with Daylynne to doctor’s appointments for her youngest child and was with Daylynne when she went to court to secure custody of her friend’s baby. “We are there to be anything the family needs,” said Crystal. “It’s also helping out whenever the parent just needs someone to talk to about anything going on in their lives. We can be there for them and make referrals to other resources if needed.”

 “I would tell any mom about home visitation, whether they thought that they needed it or not, it’s just helpful,” said Daylynne. “Some people think they know all about having a baby or multiple kids and that’s not the case, as I found out for myself.”

Home Visitation is a free and voluntary in-home program that provides families with the resources and tools they need to strengthen their family bond. Our program was the first in Missouri to be accredited through Healthy Families America.
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