HOME VISITING: Meet Juanita Hopkins

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 Juanita Hopkins of Children and Families First

Can you tell us a little about your involvement and/or role with Home Visiting?
My role is to educate regarding the importance of early child development and the benefits of positive child interaction and to encourage positive outcomes. This includes, engaging in activities to encourage bonding, healthy brain development and child development. During the visits, I identify individual strengths and provide info to enhance parenting abilities.

Not only do I strive to promote healthy relationships, I also teach preventive measures to ensure child safety and address any areas of concern to prevent child abuse. I work with families to ensure their child is meeting each developmental milestone. I conduct routine assessments and connect families to community resources to ensure optimal family functioning.

Tell us about the families you serve?
Currently, I work with primarily single mothers who, in most cases, are first time mothers. Many of whom have past experiences that affect their ability to properly parent their child.

Why do you think families should participate in Home Visiting?
Many families in the program have overcome or are currently facing difficult life experiences that increase the risk of exposing their child to the same traumatic experience. By sharing the impact of these experiences and teaching positive parenting practices, we are able to teach the necessary skills to promote positive outcomes for the family as a whole.

What does a day look like as a Home Visitor?
A typical day begins with confirming my scheduled appointments and reviewing case files. I make sure that I am meeting the family’s needs and addressing any concerns. I review the information and curriculum that I plan to share during the home visit according to the family’s needs and areas that require growth.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with a new parent?
The most valuable piece of advice I would suggest is to shower your baby with love! Meaning, start developing a bond with your baby as early as possible and interact with your child as much as possible. I would highly recommend that they are mindful of everyday experiences that effect childhood development. I would encourage families to consider the impact on their child/children when making decisions.

Share with us why YOU love home visiting!
Being able to share information with families to encourage personal growth and family enrichment is very rewarding for me. Providing support to help families overcome obstacles is equally fulfilling. I get to witness these parents bond with their babies, watch the children grow and learn through the process. It is the ultimate reward. Lastly, sharing information with the family and witnessing effective application of what we learned gives me a sense of fulfillment.

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