June 19, 2014 by

She may have been young, but Kassie (not her real name) knew one thing for sure—when she had children, she would not beat them. After spending her childhood frightened and hurting from physical abuse, she absolutely refused to do the same to her children.

But how was she supposed to stop that pattern of violence?

Kassie found the answers she needed at the North Omaha Center for Healthy Families. She came to the Center wanting to be trained to parent differently.  Now the young mother of a toddler and a nine-month old, she’s learning how to parent and discipline her children with love, and without regret.  She likes to call it “E-Parenting,” or parenting with empathy.

Better yet, Kassie is now taking part in the new Lutheran Family Services Home Visitation program, a special “at-home” version of the support that pregnant women and parents of newborns can receive. It’s confidential and completely free.  A parent coach from LFS visits Kassie at home regularly. How are the children doing? Are the teeth coming in okay? Any special screenings or shots due that you need to get?

It’s almost like having an extra grandmother for advice.

The Home Visitation program is available to any Douglas County resident 19 years or older who is pregnant or the parent of a newborn up to six months old. The goal? To give new babies a healthier start and their parents a better chance of developing confidence and self-sufficiency.

It’s working for Kassie. At the time of this writing, she was excitedly telling her parenting coach about the new job she just landed.  Along with developing her parenting skills, getting a better job was one of Kassie’s primary goals when she joined the program. She’s thrilled at what this means for her ability to care for her children.

If you know of someone who would benefit from the Home Visitation program, please call Tameshia Harris (402-504-1733) at the North Omaha Center for Healthy Families.

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