Kate Nowak: A plethora of resources

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As an organization that advocates and supports many health and human service agencies in Routt County, I think it is important for the community to know that we have a plethora of free services for parents, particularly with young children. 

April is the month of the child, and our community will be hearing from multiple agencies about the programs and services that are available to parents. The Human Resource Coalition, a representation of the Health and Human Service agencies in Routt County, writes a monthly column for the Pilot on the third Sunday of the month. The focus of this column is to educate the community about the available health and human resources in our valley. Here are a few of our resources for families.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association has the nurse-family partnership program, a voluntary, free service to help first-time moms and their child begin a healthy life. Specialized nurses visit families regularly during a 2 1/2-year period, beginning in pregnancy. One of the goals of this program is for a first-time parent to learn how to provide responsible and competent care, particularly in the areas of children’s physical and emotional health and safety.

The Family Development Center has a Newborn Network program that is a parent support system that serves all families living in Routt County with children from birth to 36 months of age. The “warmline” serves as a place parents can call to get answers about parenting and information about community resources.

First Impressions, our early childhood council, works to ensure that young children will be provided adequate resources and quality programs to promote healthy development and school readiness. Seven preschool agencies throughout the entire county participate in First Impressions and the Thoughtful Parenting programs. The Thoughtful Parenting sessions are free, with child care and a great place to network with other parents.

Most preschools offer a scholarship program for low-income households.

Mind Springs Health offers our community a 24/7 crisis hotline. If someone is emotionally distraught, they can call 1-888-207-4004. A counselor will answer the phone and will provide emotional and mental health support.

Advocates Building Peaceful Communities provides consulting in safety planning among a variety of other resources and referrals. 

United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center uses highly trained information and referral specialists who assist the public and give answers about community services in times of peace and disaster. People call 2-1-1 for aging services, food, housing and utility assistance, youth services, health and medical needs, legal assistance and disaster recovery. 2-1-1 will refer the caller to the agencies that can help them.

If someone needs help in our community, we have many caring professionals and resources to provide assistance. For one place that has all of our health and human services listings, call 2-1-1.

Kate Nowak

Director, Routt County United Way

Comments

beverly lemons 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Kate! I am a grandmother, so not as aware of these resources as a younger person would be. May I add that anyone facing a crisis can reach out to neighbors and co-workers? Let's not be silent when it comes to our children, and the children of the people in our community.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I see an issue of parents in a bad situation which they know is not an acceptable situation for their kids, but they think it is better for them to try to improve the situation on their own than ask for help because that will cause Child Protective Services to get involved and they fear they will never regain custody of their kids.

I don't know if a 'no questions asked" amnesty foster care program is possible where a parent can put their kids without getting into trouble and get their kids back if they show a safe home where the exact details of why the need to temporarily give their kids to others is not that important. But they fear that doing that now can too easily mean they will never get their kids back. A program where a safe place for the kids right now is most important and makes the parents less likely to get into trouble and more likely to get their kids back.

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