As the program manager for Healthy Families Highlands, I, Jeannie DuBenion, appreciate how fortunate we are to have a variety of community-based programs working together to meet the diverse needs of vulnerable residents. Healthy Families Highlands is part of a nationally accredited statewide system of community-based home visiting programs proven to prevent child abuse and neglect in 98% of the high-risk families served.
I greatly appreciate Pamela Glinski’s recent article Stopping the Cycle. While reporters often cover the problem of child abuse and its devastating consequences; it was refreshing to see Glinski took the time to also present community-based solutions for preventing abuse.
Sheriff Benton said, “Abuse is a learned behavior.” I agree, and would add that positive parenting behaviors are also learned. Healthy Families home visitors teach parents about healthy child development and model positive parent-child interaction. Our participants learn the skills they need to provide safe, nurturing experiences that help children reach their full potential.
We all know that today’s children are our future parents, workers and leaders. If we truly want to strengthen our community and turn our economy around, we must increase our commitment to children and families by volunteering our time and advocating for additional funding to support effective community-based prevention programs.