A Day in the Life at Home Start: Meet Angel, Family Support Specialist – First 5 First Steps

In our new series of blog posts, A Day in the Life, we are pleased to take you behind the scenes at Home Start to introduce you to members of our dedicated staff that are committed to building resilient children and strengthening local families. Step into their shoes for a moment as they serve on the front lines to prevent child abuse in San Diego.

Meet Angel:

Angel [right] at a First 5 First Steps Graduation with a family she helped to thrive!

What Home Start program do you work for?

First 5 First Steps

Click here to learn more about this program

What drives you to do what you do?

My love, hope, and passion to help and see families and children thrive, flourish, prosper, bloom, and blossom to overcome cultural barriers and to reach their goals in life. Seeing them prosper brings me so much joy and happiness. It is what drives me to do what I do.

What does your typical day look like?

I usually start by getting ready for that day’s visits and plan according to each family’s needs and age of the child that I have scheduled for that day. I respond to families questions and needs whether social, economic, emotional or behavioral. In a typical day I would have three home visits scheduled.

At the start of each visit, I first check-in with the parent and follow up with her, ask questions regarding growth and development of the baby. Then I would check on any referrals and resources from previous visits and see if the parent had initiated services. Next, I will go over the Parents as Teachers activity that is based on the child’s age, growth and development and start the interaction with parent and baby and do the activity that supports parent child interaction as well as growth and development. I would be also paying close attention to any concerns the parent or I may have about the baby’s growth and development. I would observe and aim to strengthen the family’s bonding and attachment while helping to guide the parent with any struggles.

Tell us about a memorable experience you had with a client?

I remember a mom who initially had a hard time bonding with her 2nd baby; it was very difficult for her. She said that she was Home Start First 5 First Steps graduatesafraid that she wouldn’t know how to love both of her girls the same. Her fear prevented her from picking up the baby and  bonding with her. She would, most of the time, leave the baby in her crib, asleep or on the sofa. She said she was afraid of losing her love for her first born. The mom and I worked together side by side to cross over these barriers and fears.  I supported her and provided her with information and articles to help her understand and learn about her own feelings and emotions as well as her children’s feelings and emotions.  Mom and baby’s relationship now is so amazing to see. The mom was able to not only love her new baby; but to adore her.

What is your favorite parenting tip or advice?

My favorite topic is bonding and attachment. It all starts there. I like using modeling and reflection to encourage loving, positive parenting, being a safe haven, communicating and integrating, self-care and keeping perspective.

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