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New county health program to assist first-time parents

January 13, 2000|By ANDREA ROWLAND

A new Washington County program aims to aid first-time parents and their children, the Washington County Local Management Board said Thursday.

The state-funded Healthy Families Washington County initiative is a union between the Washington County Health Department and Washington County Health System, Inc. to offer in-home services to first-time parents for five years, said John Budesky, director of the Local Management Board.

First-time families will be targeted for the program through the hospital and prenatal caregivers, and their needs assessed through screening tools, Budesky said.

Families identified as "overburdened" will be given the chance to obtain free, intensive home visitation services for the first five years of a child's life, according to the Local Management Board.

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These services promote well-baby and maternal health care, positive parenting skills and child development. Healthy Families workers will also connect at-risk families to available community resources.

The following community agencies and organizations donated resources to the program: Hagerstown Community College, Washington County Board of Education, Washington County Health System Inc., The Mental Health Center Inc., Resources for Children and Families, Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA), Potomac Case Management, Parent and Child Center, The Family Center, Community Action Council, the Maryland Cooperative Extension, Local Management Board and Washington County Department of Social Services and Health Department.

Call 301-745-4949 or 301-745-3734 for more information about Healthy Families Washington County at 239 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown.

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