234912 Linking workforce development skills with home visitation to improve maternal child health outcomes and life course development for at-risk women

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mary Steiner, RN , Strong and Healthy Families Program, El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, Colorado Springs, CO
Recognizing a substantial subset of low-income women fall through the social safety net, the El Paso County Department of Human Services (DHS) and El Paso County Department of Health and Environment (EPCDHE) in Colorado Springs, CO partnered to create a pilot program, Strong and Healthy Families, to address this societal gap. This innovative program seeks to meet the needs of mothers who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) by combining nurse home visitation with a child development centered workforce training program. With these two elements, Strong and Healthy Families helps disadvantaged women achieve self-sufficiency, improve pregnancy outcomes and enhance their life course development. In its first year, Strong and Health Families served 105 women, graduated 42 women from the workforce development program, and continues to provide nurse home visits to 38 women. The interventions provided by Strong and Healthy Families have helped three women at-risk for premature birth carry their infants to 37 weeks, saving taxpayers an estimated $104,000 in Medicaid expenses and improving health outcomes for the infants. Women participating in nurse home visits or the peer support group report positive feelings about themselves, their children, and their future ability to provide for their families as they develop the skills and self-esteem necessary to plan their life course. Further, none of the program graduates report a subsequent pregnancy indicating a desire to space pregnancies as part of their life plan.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the connection between life course development, health outcomes, and economic self-sufficiency. 2. Discuss the importance of home visits and workforce training to help at-risk mothers plan their life course. 3. Discuss the influence of life course development on maternal child health outcomes.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Self-sufficiency and Empowerment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the community health program that endeavors to improve maternal child health and life course development for at-risk women in El Paso County.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.