Healthy Families - Rappahannock Area Completes Credentialing

September 24, 2007

Fredericksburg, Virginia The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) is pleased to announce that Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area has just received a Certificate of Credential from Prevent Child Abuse America. This achievement, effective through August 31, 2011, recognizes Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area as a provider of high quality home visitation services. Credentialing is completed every four years. The program was last credentialed in 2003.

According to program manager Michele Powell, “My staff and I have a desire to help our families and see them develop into positive and confident parents. It’s hard to measure lifestyle changes but our program can impact future generations by helping parents make positive decisions for themselves and their children.”

The credentialing process, developed in conjunction with the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc., attests that the home visitation program has met a set of nationally established, research-based standards, ensuring quality service delivery. The process involved an in-depth examination of the program’s operation, including personnel, fiscal, and program management. A comprehensive site self-assessment and an on-site review conducted by trained peer reviewers are part of the credentialing process. The self-assessment takes approximately a year to complete in advance of the on-site review.

Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area began in 1997. An interagency program, Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area provides support to at risk first-time parents with free home visitations, playgroups, and referrals to other community programs. Their goal is to reduce child maltreatment and increase school readiness. The program assisted 462 families in Fiscal Year 2007 (July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007). RACSB serves as the fiscal agent. Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area is an agency of the Rappahannock United Way.

The program also undergoes annual reviews by Prevent Child Abuse Virginia who provide quality assurance and technical assistance.

Prevent Child Abuse America was established in 1972 by Donna J. Stone for the purpose of building a nationwide commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect. The not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization is committed to preventing child abuse in all its forms through education, research, public awareness, and advocacy. The Healthy Families America (HFA) initiative was implemented in 1992 by Prevent Child Abuse America in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, building on two decades of research in the field of home visitation. The HFA initiative promotes positive parenting, encourages child health and development, and seeks to prevent child abuse and neglect.

If you’d like additional information on Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area, please contact Michele Powell, program manager, at 540-288-1937 or michelepowell@racsb.state.va.us.

Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides mental health, mental retardation, substance abuse, and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. RACSB operates six outpatient clinics which provide individual, group and family therapy; specialized counseling and case management services; psychological assessment; 24-hour crisis intervention; and medication management services. RACSB operates eight mental retardation group homes providing 24-hour intensive and structured support. RACSB also offers mental health day support and residential services. The Parent-Education – Infant Development Program provides physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as special education and service coordination to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Programs of RACSB include Rappahannock Adult Activities, Inc., Project LINK, DARE To Be You, Program for Teen Parents, Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block, and Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area. To learn more, visit www.racsb.state.va.us .

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Rappahannock Area Community Service Board  |  600 Jackson Street  |  Fredericksburg, VA 22401  |  (540) 373-3223