A plan is underway to bring Healthy Families Oregon home visiting services to incarcerated mothers at the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. Moms within the facility, who have a young child, and who intend to parent that child upon release will now have an opportunity to have weekly home visits with a trained home visitor. Moms will have an opportunity to learn about bonding and attachment, ways to build this relationship with their child even though they are not caring for them daily. Furthermore, the program will help these women explore their own childhood trauma, other barriers to parenting and make a plan for how they want to parent their child.
Research tells us that when there is positive relational health between a parent and his/her child, everyone benefits. Maternal depression decreases and the development of brain synapses increases in infants, babies and toddlers. “Our goal is to support these women so that they feel connected to their child, and are confident and successful parents upon release,” says Erin Deahn, Statewide Coordinator of Healthy Families Oregon “Each of these young children will benefit by connecting with their mother, and having a mother who has tools to break the cycle of abuse and increase their chances of having a childhood free of abuse and neglect.”
Any mom who receives HFO services during their incarceration at Coffee Creek and wishes to continue receiving services while living in Oregon after their release will be transferred to a HFO program in their new county of residence.
This direct partnership is a result of another Early Learning Division supported program, the Nurturing Healthy Attachment Project, which enhanced Head Start curriculum implemented at the Coffee Creek Head Start/Early Head Start blended classroom. The project integrated Vroom interactive activities along with other parenting resources to help the women build parenting skills for a secure and healthy mother-child relationship. The success of that project is what led to the development of this new partnership with HFO at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.
The current plan includes offering HFO services at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, beginning in January 2018.
Questions about HFO at the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility can be referred to Erin Deahn, Statewide Coordinator of Healthy Families Oregon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about Nurturing Healthy Attachment project can be referred to project director Sherri Alderman at email@example.com. The NHA was funded by Vroom, an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation, with the support of the Early Learning Division.