Program focus: Child Development, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development
Babies’ Best Start works in partnership with Toronto Public Health to provide service to families under the provincially funded program Healthy Babies Healthy Children. In this partnership a Public Health Nurse from the City of Toronto and a Family Home Visitor from Strides Toronto work as a team to provide in-home support to families in the prenatal stage and to families with young children from birth to three years of age. Children must be referred before the age of three.
The parent receiving this service determines their own goals which may include areas such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, healthy attachment, healthy eating, safety, child development, positive parenting, parent health and well-being and community resources. The home visitors represent a variety of cultural backgrounds and speak many different languages.
Referrals can be made by parents or through a midwife, family doctor, nurse or other service provider to Healthy Babies Health Children through the Toronto Public Health Department. Children must be referred before the age of three.
Clients must meet the following criteria:
- Living in Toronto
- Pregnant or parenting a child who is 0 to 3 years old
- Be the legal guardian of the child(ren)
- Actively parenting the child(ren) in the family’s place of residence
- Available for home visits during our hours of operation.
The client must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Healthcare professional has concerns about the health and well-being of the client, family and/or child.
- Parent has concerns or questions about the child’s health and development, parenting, parent-child relationship.
- Newcomer to Canada, here less than three years and having their first baby in Canada.
- Client has a limited informal and/or formal support system.
- Client has a history of or is experiencing physical and/or mental health illness that is impacting capacity to parent or cope with pregnancy.
- Client facing challenging life situations or life stressors such as homeless, domestic violence, child protection concerns, no OHIP.
The Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is funded by the government of Ontario and delivered by your local public health unit.