Child & Family Development services gives support and guidance to families and their young children. This program focuses on the critical early years of a child’s life, birth to age 5, to support strong foundations for future success. Our trained staff educates parents so they can build that strong foundation for their family’s growth. All programs are offered free of charge in English and Spanish to families in the Greater Norwalk area and are on a voluntary basis. Services are primarily home-based and include the following:
Nurturing Families Network
The Nurturing Families Network provides screening and assessment, group support and intensive home visiting for new parents who are overwhelmed by the demands of parenthood. The program focuses on nurturing parenting, child development, and health and community resources through three main programs:
- Nurturing Home Visiting provides trained home visitors to help first-time families in Norwalk by offering regular home visits for up to five years, education on parenting and child development, and access to important community resources.
- Nurturing Connections offers phone support, parenting education and referrals to services for new, first-time families. Service is provided by trained volunteers.
- Nurturing Groups are regularly held prenatal and parenting groups in both English and Spanish for families with a child between birth and five years . Childcare is offered as part of the curriculum.
The Fatherhood Initiative
In addition to the traditional home visiting services, Family & Children's Agency offers a fatherhood component to expecting fathers and first-time fathers. The fatherhood home visitor works to increase the participation of fathers in the lives of their child, increase the fathers’ knowledge about their child’s developmental needs, and promote bonding and attachment between fathers and their child (ren).
Parents As Teachers (PAT)
Parents As Teachers is a voluntary family education and support program based on the philosophy that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. PAT works with families prenatally until children enter Kindergarten and provides the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the critical early development years. Through ongoing home visits, FCA parent educators provide curriculum-based activities to encourage positive parent/child interactions and promote healthy development, while also connecting families to community resources.
Minding the Baby (MTB)
Minding the Baby (MTB) is an intensive home visiting program developed by faculty and staff from the Yale University Child Study Center and the Yale University School of Nursing. This program was designed to provide clinical support to first-time mothers between the ages of 14 and 25 and their families. The MTB team includes a nurse and a social worker who provide weekly home visits during pregnancy until the baby is two years old. The primary goal of MTB is to enhance opportunities for families in the Norwalk community to thrive by strengthening relationships between mothers and their babies and promoting overall health and child development. The MTB team collaborates with all maternal and pediatric clinicians to coordinate care for both the mother and baby to support positive physical and mental health.
Maternal Outreach Mentoring Service (MOMS)
The Maternal Outreach Mentoring Service program provides home visitation services designed to strengthen families through teaching positive parenting skills, promoting healthy child development and empowering mothers to become self-sufficient. The program serves pregnant and/or parenting women with at least one child under the age of eight years, in need of family strengthening services. The program works with families individually through home visiting services, but also offers a group component to provide psycho-education and reduce social isolation among families.
If you are interested in participating in any of the parenting programs listed above, please fill out the Family & Children's Agency Referral Form or contact Margaret Woglom at 203-855-8765.