A trio of organizations is teaming up to provide support services to at-risk families

By Lezla Gooden - Reporter

ROANOKE,Va. - Children's Trust Healthy Families program is partnering with Family Services of Roanoke Valley and Total Action for Progress, to make sure high-risk expecting families have access to what they need.

“Typically, a barrier to counseling is the funding. When people don't have insurance or are underinsured and cannot afford their co-pays or deductibles that's the main issue that holds people back to coming,” said Jennifer Amateis, clinical supervisor of the counseling department at Family Services of Roanoke Valley. 

To prevent that hurdle, the Virginia Division of Child and Family Services awarded Children's Trust a $49,000 grant.

The first phase of services starts with TAP’s Early Head Start Pregnant Women’s Program.

“TAP will work with moms prenatally until the baby is six weeks and then at that point, they will transition to Healthy Families and where we will continue to provide the intensive home visiting services in those families’ homes,” said director of child abuse prevention at Children's Trust, Lisa Denny. 

Denny tells 10 News that they know families that have a history of trauma need continuing support and care to give kids a great start. 

“And we will continue to provide those home visiting services until the child turns 3. Through that process, we will learn about the family and their circumstances and see what other services they may need in order to support their family,” said Denny. 

If needed, after this step is when Family Services of Roanoke Valley could step in to offer mental health assistance, including individual and group support.

“Those things create barriers to their ability to be present and what they need to be for their children. So we can catch that early on and help parents work through what that is. And children can’t be any healthier than their caregiver,” said Amateis. 

To sign up or learn more about the new partnership follow this link

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