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Cortland County Healthy Families Program Receives National Accreditation

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CAPCO’s Cortland County Healthy Families program is now an official affiliate of Healthy Families America (HFA), further supporting its home visiting services to families wishing to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes.

The accreditation was announced Friday (August 9) after a stringent review process grounded in more than 30 years of research, which included an in-depth examination of the site’s operation and quality of visits made by HFA home visitors.

HFA is a more than 20-year-old program of PCA America. The localized program in Cortland County is now part of Healthy Families New York, which last year conducted 43 programs that served nearly 6,000 families with more than 71,000 home visits.

During home visits, families are paired with knowledgeable Family Support Specialists who provide information and support from pregnancy until a child enters preschool or kindergarten.

Specialists connect families with community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to find the answers to their questions, all from the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. They even bring fun activities for parents and children to do together and work with parents to reach goals that are important to them.

HFA Staff undergo more than two months of local and state training in a wide range of areas affecting new parents, such as caring for a new baby, promoting healthy child development and coping with other stressors like finances, housing or partner relationship that may present challenges with an addition to the family.

“The American Dream starts with a happy, healthy childhood,” said Dan Duffy, former President and CEO of PCA America. “As parents, we all have questions from time to time. Our HFA professionals offer evidence-based best practices to provide answers to questions, individualized support when needed most, and linkages to community services. As we congratulate Cortland County Healthy Families we also recognize the state and community leadership that has contributed to success in Cortland, NY.”

The HFA site in Cortland County is located at CAPCO’s main headquarters, 28 North Main Street in Cortland.

According to CAPCO representatives, ongoing research shows that families who participate in the HFA program have healthier babies, create positive family bonds and have children who do better in school.

“Cortland County Healthy Families has been serving parents and children for about a year and is free to anyone living in Cortland County who is expecting a baby or has an infant under three months old,” said CAPCO Program Manager Deanna Pace. “Our staff spend time getting to know each family, and their unique needs to make sure their children are happy, healthy, safe, smart and ready for school. Because there are no income guidelines, and the program is open to families who may already have older children, many families can enroll.”

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Cortland County Healthy Families, call 607-844-7327, or email healthyfamilies@capco.org.

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