Our Better Indy Babies/Healthy Families (BIBS/HF) Programs celebrated the successes of many inner-city Indianapolis parents and children about a week an a half ago at their 11th Annual Family Picnic!Â Around 400 families were present at Garfield Park on the pretty steamy Friday.Â Lunch was provided for all. The day also included PLENTY of activities from the cake walk, to AWESOME face paintings (or, belly paintings for pregnant mothers), to great door prizes.Â The fun-filled day was capped with the graduation of children who have hit all of their milestones from the age 0-3!Â It was a great experience to take in.
Clients of the BIBs/HF program get a sense of community at the picnic. We all have had situations where we felt alone and as if we are the only person in the world going through a particular experience.Â The BIBs/HF staff take pride in supporting clients, connecting them to community resources, and letting them know that they are NOT alone.
Both home-visitation programs are dedicated to meeting the needs of culturally diverse families in our community. They encourage self-sufficiency and healthy parent-child relationships. I had a chance to talk with three different families who attended the picnic. Support was the repeated and underlying feeling that shined through in every answer to my questions.
Carrie Tahat was a mother who was completely by herself when she found out about BIBs/HF in the hospital.
HealthNet: What services have been the most useful for you and your daughter?
Tahat: Receiving referrals and information to community resources.Â When I was homeless they connected me with the program that helped me find an affordable place to stay.Â BIBs/HF staff would even drive me to my doctor appointments when I really needed to get to the doctor.
They have been really helpful with all things for clothing, food, and shelter. I have been with the program for 8 months, and they have helped me with EVERYTHING that I have needed.
Melanie Smith was referred to BIBs/HF when she was 3 months pregnant and attending her appointment at HealthNet’s own Barrington Health Center.
HealthNet: If you met someone in a similar situation as yourself, what would you say to get them to seek out the services provided by BIBs/HF?
Smith: I have referred A LOT of people.Â A lot of people come up to me and ask me HOW I am doing such a good job raising my children and make sure they are hitting their milestones.Â I tell them that BIBs/HF is a great way to find support from people OTHER than your family.
They do a really good job of letting you know that you are not alone. They do a really good job of supporting YOU.
Cliff and Serena Williams have a 3-year-old son who is a GRADUATE of the program.Â Serena had no idea about the support system available from BIBs/HF until she was referred by the doctor, and now she tells EVERY pregnant woman she meets that it is essential for them to get into this program.
HealthNet: What is the best part of the BIBs/HF program?
The Williams: The home visits are interactive and personal.Â Our son has been a handful, and our home visitor has presented a wide variety of activities and strategies to help him reach his milestones and goals.Â
There are so many more success stories like these! Together, HealthNetâ€™s Better Indy Babies and Healthy Families programs provided more than 12,634 visits to at-risk homes in Marion County last year. With your help, they can do even more.
Every parent and parent-to-be needs support and encouragement. Know someone who might benefit from BIBs/HFâ€™s programs? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!