Mitchell Yancey Healthy Families, Recipient

Mitchell Yancey Healthy Families is a program of the Toe River Health District and partners with the Mitchell Yancey Partnership for Children. The Mitchell Yancey Partnership for Children provides everything from a children's resource library to subsidized child care and child care quality assurance services.

MYHF is an intensive home visiting program meant to identify and assist overburdened families. Overburdened may mean little or no income, domestic violence issues, substance abuse and evidence of child abuse.

The primary mission of the Mitchell-Yancey Healthy Families Program (MYHF) is to prevent child abuse. The organization serves families from time of pregnancy until the child has reached age five. "Working with and providing services to families when the child is this young reduces the risk of maltreatment to the child," says MYHF's program director, Nickey Reato-Stamey.

Since it began in May 2012, MYHF has enrolled 23 families. An MYHF Family Support Worker can spend anywhere from 90 minutes to 5 hours per week in the home or working on each family's needs and Nickey reports that there have been noticeable improvements already. For example, MYHF families have already seen a 20 percent increase in income and there has been a 20 percent decrease in smoking among the pregnant women MYHF is assisting.

Crisis intervention is part of MYHF's service goals, but parenting education is essential. The main goal is for these parents "to parent differently than they were parented," says Nickey. "So, if they know child abuse and neglect, we want to teach them . there's a different way." One way to make a change: Get outside and get active.

That's why Nickey applied to receive a one by one® grant of pedometers from 4imprint®. "We know that getting outside and having some sort of exercise can be beneficial," remarks Nickey. "Pedometers are what we got and we want to use those as a way to improve [maternal] health." The idea behind it is to promote health by helping parents be good role models. When moms are walking outside, they're also setting an example so that "children know it's important, too."

When Nickey received news that MYHF would be receiving the pedometers, she and her team "were tickled pink." Theirs is a new program, but they felt that 4imprint® really appreciated the child abuse prevention cause. "Wouldn't it be exciting," Nickey thought, "for 4imprint® to say that they put their imprint on preventing child abuse?"

Indeed it is.