First Connections Program

Mission

To support families and their children during the early years of childhood development by giving them the information and services they need to be as healthy and successful as possible.

2012 Accomplishments and Milestones

  • In 2012, four First Connections agencies visited over 3,000 newborns and their families statewide.
  • Collaborated with WIC to increase the number of referrals to home visiting for pregnant women and families with young children.

What We Do

Engage families who may benefit from home visits

Anyone may offer to arrange a home visit for a family. We take referrals from:

  • Birthing hospitals, when a newborn is discharged from the hospital. Referrals are based on the results of the newborn developmental assessment or on the clinical judgment of hospital staff.
  • Healthcare and social service providers, if they think a child and family would benefit from home visiting.
  • Families (i.e., self-referrals).

Conduct home visits

We provide free, voluntary, confidential home visits statewide to pregnant women and families with young children, birth to age three. Trained nurses, social workers, and community health workers meet with families in their homes to talk about their needs, answer questions they may have, and conduct comprehensive assessments. If needed, home visitors can make arrangements for interpretation services during home visits.

Link families with medical homes and social services

Home visits are based on the needs of the family. Visit topics may include health education and connections with appropriate healthcare services, human services, and community resources. If a child does not have a medical home, we can help the family find one. We can also conduct child wellness screenings and communicate the results with the child's healthcare provider.

Collect data

We provide the Department of Health with a variety of data on the well-being and needs of Rhode Island families.