The new program aims to create home-visiting opportunities for newborn babies and their families. The first support visits implemented by the pilot program will be carried out by the Stephenson County Health Department, which is based on the northwestern Illinois city of Freeport.
Home visits are a way to help children remain healthy and thrive by providing personal contacts between a mother and a trained professional who can answer questions. The program, which is being coordinated by the Illinois Home Visiting Task Force and by FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, will be implemented by community nurses. Visitation times will be as soon after birth as possible, to enable these questions to be rapidly asked and answered. Illinois Family Connects also plans to create wellness checks for the baby and family, and to put the family in touch with any supportive resources that may be helpful.