Children's Village

The names of donors are seen on a wall in the Children's Village in Yakima, Wash. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. 

Children’s Village will receive state funding to expand in-home visits for first-time Yakama Nation mothers through its Nurse Family Partnership program.

The program provides regular in-home consultations between registered nurses and new moms from roughly 6 months of gestation through the first year of life, said Laura Crooks, CEO of Children’s Village. Moms are eligible based on factors including a first child and lower socioeconomic status.

The goal is to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth, improve the child’s health and development, ensure good bonding between the child and parent, and empower the mom and family to become economically self-sufficient.

The state Department of Children, Youth and Families selected four programs statewide to expand home visiting programs to 146 additional families, according to a Thursday news release. Children’s Village through Virginia Mason Memorial is among them, with an award of $243,000 to serve 16 tribal families, it said.

The funding will expand an existing partnership with the Yakama Nation, Crooks said.

“We have one nurse in our Nurse Family Partnership who is specifically dedicated to our moms who are Native American,” said Crooks, adding that the nurse is also Native. “This is to provide a second nurse, because it has been so successful with the first one.”

The funds will also fund a new program supervisor, Crooks said. The Yakama Nation requested the expansion of the existing services, she said, which began earlier this year.

Crooks said there were at least seven Native families already on a waiting list for the services, and work with the families would begin immediately.

Of the 23 counties and tribal nations statewide that DCYF provides with home visit funds, Yakima received the most as of June, accounting for 20% of the home visit positions, or 450 families, at the time. Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington, Children’s Village, Yakima Valley Farm Worker’s Clinic and West Valley School District all receive money for respective programs.

Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter:

@janelleretka