Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children
The Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children (AHBHC) program has the objective to assist all Aboriginal families to provide the best opportunities for healthy development for children up to 6 years of age. A second important goal is to ensure that children at risk have access to services and support that will address their needs.
The Program is voluntary and open to any Aboriginal family that requests the service. Aboriginal families may also access the provincial program via the local public health unit.
- Preparing for Parenting and Care-giving
- Friendly home and hospital visits
- Assistance with obtaining health, birth and status card applications
- Referral to other organizations, agencies and health services as needed
- Prenatal Support
- Traditional Teachings
- Pregnancy and Birth
- Referrals As Needed
- Postpartum Support
- Establishing Contact / Offering Services
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating
- Caring for infants and children including extended family.
- Assessing Strengths and Identifying Needs
- Family Strengths Assessment Process
- Identifying Service and Support Needs
- Developing Service Plans
- Client Based Services
- Home visiting – Intake and information gathering; providing family support, information and education to the family; provide post-natal contact within 72 hours of return home; and recording baby’s weight.
- Family Service Plan – Intended to identify and build program/ service linkages; identify additional support or resources that may be required; referring the client/ family to other screening services and support services. Service Plans are reviewed and updated as required.
- Service coordination – Connect or linking the family to programs and services to support baby/ child healthy development. Some examples are: CAPC, CPNP, Aboriginal Headstart, Nurses, Elders, Social Service Workers, Midwives, Early Years, CHR’s, Community Wellness Workers; Case Management / Case Conferencing
- Participant Based Services.
- Participant-based activities are focused on groups rather than individuals. They may be open to the community-at-large (e.g. community awareness events) or targeted to a group of people (e.g. youth, moms, dads, parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles) within the community.
- These activities involve gathering information about and developing contacts with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations / services and their representative to increase the client / family knowledge of and access to services.
Role of the Home Visitor
Home visitors deliver early education and support to families where they are—in their homes and on their terms. Through home visiting, families can be educated and brought up-to-date on new information about health, child development and school readiness.
The Home Visitor is like an Aunt to the family. They have experience and knowledge on children, and they know how to connect the family to supports in the community Home visiting is a bridge that links the resources of the community with the safety of the home environment, empowering even isolated parents to build a better future for themselves and their children.
- Why Home Visiting?
- Promotes early learning – one family at a time.
- Improves family access to community services.
- An effective, way to bring families and resources together to ensure that children grow up healthy and ready to learn.
- Reduces Social/Community isolation and builds bridges for families who want assistance.
- Home Visiting is an Aboriginal cultural approach to supporting children and families.
Overall, the Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program may differ from the provincial program delivered by Public Health Units in the following ways:
- The AHBHC program emphasises Aboriginal approaches to programming. For example, using traditional teachings and the inclusion of spirituality.
- The AHBHC program has a preconception component.
- AHBHC uses a process to build on family strengths; it is not focused on families in need.
- The AHBHC Program can be delivered inn collaboration with other Health and Social Programs. This is in response to identified needs and priorities within Aboriginal communities.
- The community in the AHBHC program drives information collection.
- Group activity through workshops and community events is part of the AHBHC program.