Samantha Jamison visited the Rotary Club of Tryon this week. Samantha is the community liaison for Family Connects for Smart Start in Henderson and Polk counties. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work and is pursuing an MPA, both degrees from Western Carolina University. She told the Club about a new program affiliated with Family Connects International, an evidence-based and successfully demonstrated program that connects parents of newborns to the community resources they need, through postpartum nurse home visits. The program is based at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy.
Family Connects sends nurses to visit families with new babies, aiming to reduce child maltreatment at the community level. Research so far has shown that every family is vulnerable to some degree at the birth of a baby, and that community-wide eligibility is essential for population-level change. In the startup in Henderson County, participant mothers reported they received skills for positive parenting, and infant ER visits were reduced among participant families compared to the general population of postpartum families.
The program is expanding to Polk County, and Samantha is recruiting for members of a Polk County Advisory Board. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.