Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Healthy Families Counsels Mothers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Healthy Families Counsels Mothers

Article excerpt

The past six months for Misha Mobley have been better than she

ever imagined.

The 16-year-old Southside girl said she was having a lot of

personal trouble until she heard about a program called Healthy

Families.

Now she says: "I'm staying out of trouble and going back to

school."

Misha isn't alone. About 100 mothers and expectant mothers have

received help from Healthy Families Jacksonville, a home

visitation program that provides mothers and infants with things

they need.

The program brings a counselor into the home to teach

nutrition, family planning, education on child development and

positive parenting. The counselor also helps out by providing

transportation for participants who need it.

Ultimately, Healthy Family leaders hope the program will

improve the health of pregnant women, mothers, and children

under age 5; promote healthy growth and development, safety and

school readiness for children under age 5; and promote healthy

family functioning and positive parent-child interaction.

The program is a year old, but had its official kickoff

celebration Sept. 20 at Southside Estates Baptist Church. The

kickoff was put off until this year so the approximately 100

mothers or expectant mothers registered in the program could be

recognized for their involvement and for the changes they've

made in their lives. It also gave the mothers a chance to meet

each other and share their experiences.

So far, the program is operating only on the Southside.

Families find out about it through their physicians or by word

of mouth. The Southside was chosen based on the need for the

program, which is funded by the Exchange Club Family Center, a

parents' support organization; the Jacksonville Children's

Commission; the Duval County Public Health Unit; and the

Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition. …

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