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Healthy Families is a state-wide home-visiting program available for first-time parents age 20 and under. Services are provided from the beginning of the pregnancy until the child’s third birthday. The program is funded by the Children’s Trust of Massachusetts and provided by KDC out of two locations: Greater New Bedford and Greater Plymouth.
You Have Hope
Learn how to nurture your child while keeping your life goals in sight. Kennedy-Donovan Center’s Healthy Families Program offers you a range of supports: we want to connect you with relevant community resources while assisting you to be the best parent for your child. Our services are free, voluntary, and 100% confidential.
Prepare for parenting by learning about childbirth, baby care skills, playtime ideas, and more.
Kennedy-Donovan Center Healthy Families trained staff is here to help young parents through one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, times in life.
Strong parenting skills will help your child’s development and growth. We offer information and guidance on the following topics:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Child development, before and after birth
- Basic baby care skills
- Ways to enjoy playtime with your child
- Alternative forms of discipline
- How to stay cool when things get tough
- Supporting your child as a single parent or as a couple
Build a bright future for your family and child by building confidence in your parenting abilities.
Healthy Families can come to you! Learn about parenting on your schedule in your home or at a place that you choose.
Kennedy-Donovan Center Healthy Families matches each young parent with a highly trained professional who visits with you to educate, encourage, and support you as you bond with your child.
During a visit, one of our Family Support Advocates will answer any questions you have about pregnancy or your baby. We’ll do a fun activity with you and your child and, in the process, introduce you to appropriate baby care and effective parenting skills. We’ll also take the time to work with you on your personal goals, like going back to school or finding a job.
You can talk with our Family Support Advocates about:
- Healthy child development
- Proper baby care
- Effective parenting skills
- Your personal goals, like going back to school or finding a job
Why family support matters:
- It improves the health of mothers and their children
- It sets you up for success in school
- It improves the lives of children
- It promotes parent-child bonding
- It helps families function well
Prepare for a healthy and happy life by connecting with school programs, medical care, parenting groups, housing support, and more.
At Healthy Families, we want to help you with more than just parenting. Setting the stage for stability and success in other areas of your life will help you and your family prosper.
Prepare for success by connecting with:
- School programs
- Medical care
- Job planning and career training
- Child care services
- Financial and housing support
- Other young moms and dads
- Parenting groups in the community
- Socialize with other young parents and have a say in future group activities. We listen to your ideas to run topic groups on issues that matter to you. Recent groups have covered child development and discipline, toilet training, child behaviors, healthy relationships, and financial supports.
Using these resources will set you on track to achieve your life goals.
- 70% of Healthy Families Massachusetts mothers who were not in
school when they enrolled in the program have gone back to finish
school and receive their high school diplomas.
- Two years after enrollment, mothers in Healthy Families
Massachusetts were nearly twice as likely to have completed at least
one year of college.
About Healthy Families
Parents who enroll in Healthy Families get results. A study conducted by Tufts University found that Healthy Families Massachusetts:
- Increases the likelihood of parents achieving self-sufficiency, which includes attending college
- Promotes better health outcomes for mothers and babies
- Promotes co-parenting relationships that actively involve fathers
Healthy Families is committed to connecting with mothers and fathers.
Healthy Families provides home-based family support and guidance to first-time parents who are ages 20 and under from the time of pregnancy until the child turns three.
How Healthy Families Works
- Free and voluntary visits with an experienced Family Support Advocate
- Education and skills-sharing
- Career support
- Referrals to school programs; medical care; job placement agencies; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); child care services; housing support; and more
- Social events and outings for the family
Am I Eligible?
New Bedford eligibility: Any parent-to-be or first-time parent who is age 24 or under and has a child under 12 months old at the time of referral is eligible.
Plymouth eligibility: Any parent-to-be or first-time parent who is age 20 or under and has a child under 12 months old at the time of referral is eligible.
Kennedy-Donovan Center’s Healthy Families Program serves young parents living in the following areas and towns:
|Greater New Bedford
Healthy Families is supported by the Children’s Trust of Massachusetts.
If you’re a first-time mom or dad age 20 or under and you are either pregnant for the first time or your first child is less than 1 year old when you contact us, you are eligible to participate in Healthy Families. You can participate in the program until your child turns 3.
You can fill out the Talk to Us! form below or call one of the following phone numbers:
Greater New Bedford Area: 508-997-1570
Greater Plymouth Area: 508-747-2012
We only ask for your name, address, phone number, and date of birth. We do not need your social security number or health insurance information. Healthy families is completely confidential and will not talk with your parents without your permission.
No, Healthy Families is completely confidential.
During a home visit, one of our Family Support Advocates will visit with you in your home or other location that you choose. He or she will answer any questions you have about pregnancy or your baby. We’ll do a fun activity with you and your child and, in the process, introduce you to appropriate baby care and effective parenting skills. We’ll also take the time to work with you on your personal goals, like going back to school or finding a job.
Group activities are chosen based on interests of parents in the groups. Some groups are more focused on parent-child interaction and others more on parent support and networking. Activities have included parent-child play groups, community field trips, parent support groups, and scrapbooking. We’ve also had parent discussion around relevant topics including labor and delivery, child development, managing difficult behaviors, toilet training, healthy relationships and managing finances. Groups offer transportation and help with childcare as well as an opportunity to meet other young parents.
Absolutely! We work hard with you to promote co-parenting relationships that actively involve fathers.