While each local Healthy Start program is a little different because it is structured to meet the needs of its community, all Healthy Start programs share the following strategies and characteristics:
- Multi-disciplinary team – Healthy Start staff teams include people in different roles all working together to best serve participants and the community. The team usually includes a Project Director, program manager(s), care coordinators/case managers, community health workers, CAN coordinators, and a program evaluator, and may also include social workers, nurses, or others.
- Outreach to recruit participants – Healthy Start workers actively go out into the community to find and invite women and families to enroll and participate in the program. They go to places where women and families are, such as playgrounds and grocery stores, and they reach out to community organizations to refer potential participants to the program.
- Risk screening with all participants – Risk screening is a process of asking questions using an approved screening tool (questionnaire) to identify a Healthy Start participant’s health risks and needs, so that a care plan can be made to help meet those needs.
- Care coordination – Based on the needs identified through risk screening the Healthy Start program works with the participant to connect them to health and social services, programs and other supports to address their risks and meet those needs.
- Health education – Healthy Start programs offer information, skill building and support to help participants practice healthy behaviors that will improve their own health and well-being and that of their families. Health education is provided by both one on one and in groups, such as mothers’ or fathers’ groups.
- Participant-centered approach – Healthy Start programs work in partnership with the participant, recognizing participants’ strengths as well as their needs, and encouraging and supporting them to take action and advocate for themselves and their families.
- Flexible service locations – Healthy Start programs provide services to clients in participant’s homes, in groups, and out in the community.
- Strong referral network – Healthy Start programs work to establish strong referral relationships with community agencies, health and social service providers and other community programs, so that Healthy Start participants can be referred to those programs and so that those programs can refer their clients to Healthy Start.
- Roots in the community through a Community Action Network (CAN)
This page was developed to have a dedicated space to access resources and information about Healthy Start teams. It serves as a repository of resources to enhance your team meetings and help you foster collaboration within your Healthy Start program.
Healthy Start Staff Meeting Training Packages
These Healthy Start Staff Meeting Training Packages provide everything you need for a short (30 minute) staff development activity that you can do with your entire Healthy Start team during a staff meeting or other team meeting.