Strengthen Family Resilience

A focus on engaging both parents in the future of their child,  and on strengthening family resilience helps address to some degree the toxic stress that underlies many disparities in birth outcomes.  Healthy Start programs promote father involvement both before and after the baby is born, provide parenting support and education, utilize a trauma-informed approach to care, and strive to support the mental and behavioral health of mothers and families.

Consult the data dictionary for exact definitions and measurement of each benchmark.

 

Benchmark: Father/Partner Parenting Involvement

Increase proportion of Healthy Start women participants that demonstrate father and/or partner involvement (e.g., attend appointments, classes, infant/child care) with their child participant to 80%.

Early male involvement in children’s lives has been shown to have a positive effect on both sons and daughters in several areas. It is associated with future academic success, reduces the chance of delinquency, and decreases the incidence of substance abuse.

 

Benchmark: Father/Partner Prenatal Involvement

Increase the proportion of HS grantees that demonstrate father and/or partner involvement (e.g., attend appointments, classes, infant/child care) during pregnancy to 90%

Paternal involvement has an impact on both pregnancy and infant outcomes. The father or partner can, for example, participate in childbirth classes, prenatal and pediatric medical appointments, and infant care. Paternal involvement during pregnancy has been shown to reduce negative maternal health behaviors, risk of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and low birth weight.

Resources

Evidence-Based Practice

Father-Friendly Check-Up

MCH Organization

Zero to Three

Online Training

Responsible Fatherhood
 

Benchmark: Intimate Partner Violence

Increase proportion of Healthy Start women participants who receive intimate partner violence (IPV) screening to 100%.

Intimate Partner Violence, a pattern of abuse by one partner against another in a relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, or dating, is a substantial yet preventable public health problem. Every year women experience 4.8 million incidents of physical or sexual assault by an intimate partner. This violence tends to persist or even increase during pregnancy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that IPV screening and counseling be a core component of both prenatal and well-women healthcare visits.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Perinatal Depression Screening

Increase proportion of HS participants who receive perinatal depression screening and referral to 100%.

Perinatal depression is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. It is important to identify women with depression because untreated mood disorders can have adverse effects on women, infants, and families. ACOG recommends that pregnant women should be screened for depression at least once during the perinatal period.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Reading to Child Daily

Increase the proportion of Healthy Start child participants aged <24 months who are read to by a parent or family member 3 or more times per week to 50%.

Reading to a child teaches him or her about communication, introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes, builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills, and provides information about the surrounding world. It is also associated with future academic success. Because of this, a mother or father should read to the infant or young child every day.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.