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Program offers help for families

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, November 13, 2017

Trillium Health Resources, which now manages mental and development health care in Nash County, is now offering a new program designed to benefit families with young children who need additional support in dealing with the stresses of life.

“Some of us at some point in our career or personal life may have met an expectant mother or a child that may have needed some form of intervention or services to improve their quality of life. However, we may not have known where to turn to get the needed assistance,” said Chief Deputy Brandon Medina of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. “We learned last week that the Child First program is a resource sponsored by Trillium Health Resources that can assist in these matters.”

The program is especially designed to help support pregnant women or families with children from birth through 5 years of age. The program also works with children with very difficult behaviors or with delays in learning or development. Child First also provides support for families under stress because of domestic turmoil, drug use, homelessness, loneliness, drug use or poverty. Child First services are available both in English, Spanish and other languages in most communities it serves

According to information provided by the organization, a Child First works with families to understand their goals and help them achieve them through use of a team of specialists including child development specialists and care coordinators or family resource partners who can help families connect with other community resources they need such as food, housing, child care, health care, furnishings and job training. The goal of the program is to help create happy and healthy children free from behavior problems and headed for success and to encourage parents to be strong, kind, wise caregivers who are not overwhelmed by stress.

Child First offers a two-pronged approach to helping families. Family Resource Partners help alleviate toxic stress by connecting children and families to necessary community-based services. And mental health clinicians aid in the development of a responsive, nurturing parent-child relationship that can protect the young child’s developing brain, thus helping them become more prepared for school in the future.

By reaching vulnerable children and families at the earliest possible time, Child First can help prevent abuse and neglect and help families heal from damaging influences that can affect the health and well-being of children.

Medina said the Nash County Sheriff’s Office is helping make Child First resources available to the community.

“A limited amount of informational brochures have been placed in the Civil Division Office at the Sheriff's Office. We have also posted the informational brochure on our Facebook page,” Medina said.

However, anyone who knows of an expectant mother or a child in Nash County that can benefit from these Child First services can call 252-551-5544. Families in Washington, Tyrrell, Bertie, Martin, Hertford, or Northampton counties are also eligible for this program, which is funded through Trillium Health Resources.

For more information about Child First, go to http://www.childfirst.org/about-us.

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