Ciera, a Family Support Worker, does a home visit
Piedmont Housing Alliance connects with several area nonprofits to bring enriching support to the people we serve. CHiP is one of those partners, providing services to children and families throughout the area, including Friendship Court.
On any given day, you are likely to see a member of the CHiP Neighborhood Outreach team in a downtown neighborhood – visiting families at home, attending community events, or facilitating groups for teens and/or parents with young children. Nurse Jessica might be checking in on a new mom to see how mom and baby are doing at home and answer questions about breast-feeding or how to know when to call the doctor. Naasira, one of the team’s family support workers, might be visiting a family with a busy toddler, bringing ideas for age-appropriate activities that can be created from simple household items.
CHiP is the Children’s Health Improvement Program. Their mission is to partner with families to create nurturing home environments and promote the health and well-being of children in our community. The CHiP program is completely voluntary and designed to serve families with children age 0-6.
Through home visits, CHIP works with children and parents in their own environment, eliminating the need to find transportation or childcare. Home visits allow the entire family to participate. Meeting families where they live in those critical early years of a child’s life has proven to be the most effective model for helping kids grow up healthy and prepared to succeed in school and in life.
CHiP’s dedicated teams of community health nurses and professional family support workers meet with families to:
· Promote family health and well-being through health assessments, health education, and facilitating access to health care.
· Enhance parenting skills and confidence through a developmentally appropriate curriculum and building nurturing relationships.
· Foster self-sufficiency by partnering with families to set goals, solve problems, and connect with community resources.
In light of the challenges our community faced in 2017, CHiP recognized that a distrust of systems and institutions are a barrier to health and well-being and contributes to racial disparities in care and health outcomes. Thanks to a grant from the Adiuvans Foundation, CHiP launched the Neighborhood Outreach Project, placing a team downtown dedicated to serving historically African American neighborhoods. In addition to the nurse/family support worker team, three part-time health educators were hired from within the community, all with the goal of building relationships and being a trusted neighborhood resource.
Teen Outreach and Neighborhood Outreach Project Coordinator, Torri Ayers, says, “We want to help parents be the best they can be, but it takes time for them to trust us. So we just keep showing up, without judgment, as a friendly, helpful neighbor.”
Torri has also been co-facilitating the girls group, Sisters of Nia, with City of Promise, and has started two more girls groups in Greenstone and Friendship Court. While CHiP’s Parenteen program provides unique support for pregnant and parenting teens, Torri’s work with pre-teen and teen girls is designed for prevention and long-term impact. “I want to help these girls think differently, to expose them to new ideas and experiences so they can expand their imagination, hopes, and dreams for themselves and their family.”
CHiP means children’s health. If you want to learn more about CHiP or how to enroll in the program, visit www.jachip.org or call: 434-964-4700.