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Family Spirit

Culturally-Sensitive Help for Native Families

 

The Family Spirit Program is a culturally tailored home-visiting intervention delivered by Native American paraprofessionals as a core strategy to support young Native parents from pregnancy to 3 years postpartum. Parents gain knowledge and skills to achieve optimum development for their preschool age children across the domains of physical, cognitive, social-emotional, language learning, and self-help. The Family Spirit Program consists of 63 lessons to be taught from pregnancy up to the child’s 3rd birthday. This in-home parent training and support program has been designed, implemented, and rigorously evaluated by the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health in partnership with the Navajo, White Mountain Apache, and San Carlos Apache Tribes since 1995.

The Family Spirit Program offers parenting help to Native parents and families. If you are pregnant or a parent to a child under 3 years of age and interested in developing parenting skills, then this program is ideal for you. You will help your child develop emotional resilience and physical well-being. Parents will also learn how to build a strong, healthy family that is connected to your Native heritage.

Benefits of the Family Spirit Program:

  • Increase parenting knowledge and skills;
  • Address maternal psychosocial risks that could interfere with positive child-rearing (drug and alcohol use; depression; low education and employment; domestic violence problems);
  • Promote optimal physical, cognitive, social/emotional development for children from 0 to 3;
  • Prepare children for early school success;
  • Ensure children get recommended well-child visits and health care;
  • Link families to community services to address specific needs; and
  • Promote parents’ and children’s life skills and behavioral outcomes across the lifespan.

Eligibility Requirements for the Family Spirit Program:

The Family Spirit Program Curriculum is designed to serve mothers prenatally through to a child’s 3rd birthday. Programs that are working with participants in this age range are eligible to be trained on Family Spirit.  Each program will have unique eligibility requirements for implementing the program.

Parents As Teachers

A Parent is a Child’s First Teacher

Your children have so much potential. As a parent, you have a unique opportunity to be their first teacher. That’s because most brain development occurs in the first few years of life, and you can make a difference. Parents As Teachers will show you how. Our Home Visitors will provide you with resources appropriate for your child’s stage of development. Through Parents As Teachers, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with your child and help prepare them for academic success.

Parents as Teachers is a free program for all parents with children younger than 5 years old. Learn how to effectively and meaningfully interact with your child to help them develop intellectually and emotionally and to help you form a deeper relationship and bond with your child.

Benefits of Parents As Teachers:

  • This program is evidence-based and proven to work.
  • Children who feel safe, healthy, and cared for can thrive.
  • We’ll catch possible developmental challenges early on.
  • We’ll connect you with a variety of community resources.
  • Fun activities will deepen your relationship with your child.

Eligibility Requirements of Parents As Teachers:

  • All parents-to-be and parents with children younger than 5 years old.

Early Head Start

Help for Low-Income Pregnant Women and Children (age birth to five)

Head Start (for children 3-5) and Early Head Start (pregnant women and children 0-3) has a variety of program and service delivery options including Center Base, Home-Base, Combination (Home & Center) or Family Child Care.  Each program incorporates an individualized approach to high-quality services for low-income pregnant women and children age birth to five. Families receive support and guidance from Head Start staff to become self-sufficient.

We understand how challenging it can be to be a mother. Early Head Start is a free parenting program that helps low-income mothers and their children with home visits, education, and health screenings. Early Head Start can also help children who are in foster care, children experiencing homelessness, and children with a disability. We offer resources for pregnant women and help for new mothers.

Benefits of Early Head Start:

  • home visits
  • child development education
  • health screening and follow-up care
  • parenting guidance and education
  • services for special needs children

Eligibility requirements of Early Head Start:

  • Children between the ages of 0-5 of families that meet the federal poverty guidelines and pregnant women who meet the federal poverty guidelines
  • Children who are foster children
  • Children who are homeless
  • Children who are disabled (have IFSP or IEP)*