Becoming a first-time mother is a journey filled with excitement and uncertainty. The challenges that come with this new phase of life can be overwhelming, which is where the Healthy Families program can offer support.
Healthy Families provides wraparound services for first-time moms, “to provide them with resources, as well as resources for their babies,” says Rose Avalos, Family Support Specialist Home Visitor.
“I look at [the work] as starting with a seed, when you’re planting a beautiful flower. The program is normally four or five years, and when [the client] enters their last years, you see this beautiful, flourishing flower.”
Rose Avalos, Family Support Specialist Home Visitor
Rose has been working with new mothers since the program began in 2000. “I knew this was my journey, with MFS giving me the opportunity, to serve these young moms,” she reflects.
For the past five years, Rose has been working with Janet Roa and her daughter, Eilana, who just graduated from the program. For her, Rose has become more than just a family support mentor, but a friend and a pillar of support.
When Janet was just four months pregnant and still in school, she was connected via her doctor to the Healthy Families program, where she met Rose. “I wanted to find some resources, especially being a first-time mom, so that’s why I enrolled,” she explains. Rose’s role extended beyond home visits and advice, she provided insights and knowledge that empowered Janet to care for her newborn with confidence. From discussing self-care and setting achievable goals, to learning baby basics and tracking developmental milestones, Rose was there to guide Janet. “She was able to se me grow from when I was pregnant to now, graduating the program,” Janet explains. “I miss Rose since I’ve graduated, but we still keep in touch. I’ll always remember the support that was given to me when I needed it the most,” she says.
For Rose, the importance of trust in her work cannot be understated. “You have to have trust for a parent to let you come into their life and assist them,” she explains. By building relationships based on trust and respect, Rose and her fellow support specialists offer a judgement-free space for mothers to learn and discuss concerns or questions.
“I look at [the work] as starting with a seed, when you’re planting a beautiful flower,” Rose describes. “The program is normally four or five years, and when [the client] enters their last years, you see this beautiful, flourishing flower.”
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AT METROPOLITAN