Early Childhood advocates including mothers, fathers, and children, met with delegates, senators and legislative aides from their local districts last month. Constituents from across Virginia gathered at the General Assembly for Early Childhood Advocacy Day with one simple message: home visiting to high needs families with young children changes lives, two generations at a time.
Not all families have the experience or support to provide basic parenting skills. Family Lifeline, like the other participating organizations, works with these families caught in the cycle of poverty that are committed to creating a better life for their children and themselves. Intervening early, using proven home visitation best practices, Registered Nurses, social workers, and parent educators work hand in hand with parents, preparing them to be their children’s first and most important teacher. In Greater Richmond and Petersburg, Family Lifeline provides comprehensive home visiting services to 364 low income families with 381 children up to age 6 and pregnant women (fiscal year 2015). Our team provides families with parenting education and support to help promote parental involvement and strengthen each family’s ability to move toward self-sufficiency and to provide a stable environment where children grow up healthy, safe, ready to learn and ready to succeed.
For many attendees this was their first meeting with an elected official. Staff thanked the legislators for their past support and explained why home visitation works. Parents told their stories about where they were before entering early childhood programs and how their lives have changed. After a day of meetings, early childhood advocates and parents left with smiles on their faces, agreeing they would be coming back again next year.