Published on July 28, 2015

Genesis Philanthropy Introduces Family Connects

Genesis Philanthropy and Scott County Kids today are announcing Genesis Family Connects, an evidenced-based initiative with the goal of connecting parents with essential community resources they need to raise a healthy family.

Genesis Family Connects will be based on The Duke Center for Child and Family Health model.

Genesis Family Connects will ensure that within the first three weeks following a baby leaving the hospital, specially trained Genesis Visiting Nurses will provide in-home needs assessments of mothers and newborns.  Nurses also can discuss the social conditions affecting the family and talk with the family about resources and support available.

For example, nurses will be able to address housing issues, breastfeeding, depression and mental health needs, substance use, domestic violence and relationship issues, child care access, parenting education, family planning, financial concerns, social support and other issues.  The Genesis Family Connect nurses will connect the families with the resources they may need.

“The Genesis Philanthropy Board is pleased to be able to offer this new level of support to babies and families,’’ said Jim Victor, board chair.  “We considered the model of Family Connects and its proven success,

“Many studies have documented the positive effects of home visits in reducing child abuse and improving cognitive development for children.

“Genesis Family Connects aligns well with the mission of Genesis Philanthropy to support health and wellness throughout the region.  Our goal is to prevent health issues before they become serious enough to require medical intervention.’’

Genesis Philanthropy will partner with Scott County Kids and Holmes Murphy & Associates of Davenport to make Genesis Family Connects available to every family in Scott County, regardless of income or number of children at home.

“Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa is looking forward to having this evidence-based program available to meet the needs of Scott County families,’’ said Lawrence Barker, chairperson, Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa. 

Missy Gowey, executive director of Genesis Philanthropy, said Genesis Family Connects requires seed funding of about $84,000, half of which has been raised.

Family Connects, through the Duke Center for Child and Family Health, has reached out to more than 6,000 families since opening in 2008.

The recognized benefits of Family Connects have been significant:

• 50 percent less emergency care by infants seen by Family Connects through one year compared to other regional newborns

• For every $1 spent on Family Connects in Durham, N.C.,  $3 were saved in health care costs

• 99 percent of mothers who participated in Family Connects said they would recommend the home visit to another mother

• Mothers were 28 percent less likely to report possible clinical anxiety

• Parents more likely to utilize higher quality child care

“This is a proven concept that we believe will benefit and enrich the lives of regional families,’’ Gowey said. “We hope the public, businesses and philanthropic organizations will also envision the benefits to health in the region.’’

Liz Stevens, a nurse and assistant clinical director of Durham Family Connects, is in the Quad Cities this week assisting Genesis Family Connects nurses with family visits.

To find out more about Genesis Family Connects, or to provide support for the program, call (563) 421-6860.

Affiliate Foundations

DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation
Genesis Foundation
Mercer Foundation for Health
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