HOME VISITING: Meet Helen Shallow

Many families in Delaware now have home visitors. Home visiting programs helps new families who are expecting or have an infant at home succeed! Home visitors are the force behind the program. Home visitors have transformed the lives of babies, parents, and families. 

Meet Helen Shallow, MSW, LCSW of New Directions Early Head Start.

Can you tell us a little about your involvement and/or role with Home Visiting?
I work as a Family Support Specialist for new Directions Early Head Start. I work out of the Early Learning Center – Wilmington. I provide case management type services for the children and families enrolled in our Center. We provide monthly home visits as part of our program.

Tell us about the families you serve?
At the Early Learning Center – Wilmington, we provide services to children from 0 – 3 years old. Our families must qualify as low income in order to enroll their child in our Center. many of our families are young parents, some are simple parent families, and most live in Wilmington or New Castle.

Why do you think families should participate in Home Visiting?
So much development happens in the life of a child from 0 – 3 years old. Our program helps provide parents with child development information, parenting education, community resources, education and employment programs. All of these services can help parents find what it is they need to be the best parent that they can be for their child and help to get their child ready for school. When a family gets an Early Head Start, they set themselves up for a lifetime of love and success in school.

What does a day look like as a Home Visitor?
A day at the Early Learning Center can vary from day  to day. We do a lot at the Center to support our children, our parents, our teachers, our Director, and our program. We visit with the children in the morning, we schedule home visits with our families as we see them at the Center. We plan and prepare for going on our home visits. We take new families on tours of our Center and complete enrollment applications. We plan monthly family and parent events. We also provide support to families and provide crisis intervention services as needed.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with a new parent?
Get involved in your child’s education from the very beginning! Try to take advantage of all of the parent and family events as they are opportunities to meet with teachers, family specialists, and other parents. Being a parent is a very hard job. You need other people to help you along on this journey.

Share with us why YOU love home visiting!
I love being part of the New Directions Early Head Start program! Acting as a family support specialist in this program, you have the opportunity to meet some amazing parents and beautiful babies and toddlers. Many families are in need of love, support, and other services. In this job, I truly get to be a Social Worker and help families in need.

For more information and to participate in the Delaware Home Visiting program, call 2-1-1 for Help Me Grow or visit https://dethrives.com/home-visiting/help-at-home