The Healthy Families Program

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Brittney Crossings
Prevention Essay

An ideal life for the average person consists of great health, vivacity, overly full of love and care, and respectable people who create a support system throughout it. These elements are usually attributed with the foundation and roots at which a person is born. A family is expected to supply a life like this for children, but what happens when an ideal life is unpleasantly replaced with a nightmare, when parents are no longer parents but perpetrators, either consciously or unconsciously? Families can be (and should be) the most supportive unit in a child’s life, but when the reality is the opposite family abuse can be the most damaging to a person’s future. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and mental abuse are far too common in our world. Luckily there are programs designed to not only help the recovery for victims of these circumstances, but there are wonderful programs to attempt to prevent the actions from happening to begin with. La Frontera Arizona is an organization that has three smaller programs named Healthy Families, Pasos Adelantes, and Family Passages.

The Healthy Families Program works with families who are at risk for child abuse and neglect, those suffering from a lot of stressors in their family. They specialize in categories preventing a harmful future for people all around the world. The Pasos Adelantes Program works with families whose children are enrolled in treatment. The last program Family Passages, works with families that are refugees newly resettled to Tucson. These programs target multiple types of populations, ages, and ethnicities. La Frontera Arizona is currently working with Russians, Africans, Bhutanese, Mexicans, and Iraqi’s. This diversity is inspiring to me because it exemplifies their dedication and passion to preventing this abuse. They do not center their attention on a certain group or type of people. They care so much about preventing these issues they extend their services to people from all over the world. After interviewing with Jeaninne Solomon I had many new insights into a topic beyond relevant in our society. She explained to me the angle that her program attempts to attack---discontinuing a damaging future for children and families through means of preventing family distress. She explained that most of her cases deal with entire families, not solely children, usually impoverished ones suffering in destitution. These families seem to have the most issues because their lives in poverty increase stressors in life. Jeaninne’s position in the programs is, to put it simply, the foundation and the backbone of the program. She manages all of the programs and the staff, writes grants, identifies new partners in the community, convenes collision meetings, writes reports, seeks funding, basically managing her program in the most professional and well run manor possible. She works at the community level, having first hand experience with the families she is involved with. Although Jeannine holds major responsibility, she has the aid of her co-workers without whom the program could not succeed. The Family Support Specialists (the people who work with the families directly) must learn the curriculum, plan and deliver lessons faithfully following the curriculum, find resources for families to use, collect evaluation information, and debrief their classes while simultaneously hoping to create relationship with the students peers. Their job is tactful and sensitive to the individuals and hugely important for the reason that they are relaying the information necessary for improvement. Another position, the supervisor. holds a very influential one. The supervisor’s job is to attend the meetings with the families that the program recommends they attend. They are the observers and reporters, the superiority, and the mentors. They provide a safe haven for the families and a reassurance that this program is right for them. These positions are crucial to...
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