April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and it’s always a great time to highlight many of the essential ways Home Start works throughout the year to prevent child abuse in San Diego.
Home Start was intent on continuing our work to protect children by strengthening families throughout the pandemic. We stepped into the role of distributing rental and utility assistance for those who lost employment. We hosted several drive-through events to supply families in need with basic essentials like groceries, masks, and educational supplies. And we continued to offer support and clinical assessments for families with children in the child welfare system.
Home Start works with families across San Diego to provide therapeutic services for children under the age of eighteen free of charge. The needs of each child is unique and the appropriate form of care is taken under great consideration. Home Start therapists are trained in providing Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Play Therapy. Through these methods our goal is to help children and their parents find positive ways of coping with prior trauma.
Home Start’s Community Services for Families program promotes child safety, child well-being, and works with the entire family to create stable living environments for children. By working with parents, our case managers educate and support healthy family interactions. CSF offers community-based parent education classes as well as Parent Partners, a peer support program for those involved with Child Welfare Services. Helping parents be their best is one more way Home Start helps to prevent Child Abuse.
Home Start provides affordable, supportive housing and individualized future planning for women who are pregnant or have small children. Young women find themselves in unstable living environments for many different reasons, including escaping abusive situations. Home Start offers these mothers a safe home along with educational programs to give them the tools to become self-sufficient and develop healthy relationships with their children. This program not only helps mothers who want to provide a better future for their family but creates a generation of young San Diegans who will grow up in secure and loving homes with a bright outlook.
Many new parents didn’t grow up with the parental role models necessary to guide them through those critical first five years of raising a child. Home Start’s First 5 First Steps is a no-cost family support program that connects parents and parents-to-be with a trained professional to support them through the joys and uncertainties of parenting. First 5 partners with families, providing home-based services customized toward each family’s strengths, needs and interests. A Family Support Specialist works together with the parents to create manageable goals in order to gain the confidence and skills needed to raise and protect happy, healthy children.