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Local officials hope to get more support for home visit programs to help all who need it

SBG San Antonio
SBG San Antonio
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It's a program designed to help you and your children get on the path to success.

The only issue is only five percent of the families who qualify have been able to get access to it.

As any parent knows there's a lot of responsibility that comes with having children.

“There's a lot of needs that you may have, that you didn't even realize you're going to need,” VP of Programs for Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio Elizabeth Perales said.

Perales works with Catholic Charities' home visit program Family Connects.

“We don't want people to feel like ashamed or not want to reach out for help, because everybody needs the help and needs the resources and the education,” Perales said.

In a report by ReadyNation they looked at five home visit programs.

Some help to get children school-ready, pair at-risk pregnant women with nurses, and give families with a prior history of child maltreatment assessments. They also provide parenting education for military families and for children considered at-risk in their homes.

ReadyNation also reports out of the 413,000 families who could benefit only about five percent did in fiscal year 2019.

It’s something Katie Ferrier wants to see change.

“It's a priority for strong nation to talk to the state legislature next session. And we plan to partner with them,” Ferrier said. She is the Chamber’s Vice President of the Education and Workforce Development.

She adds that the plan is to have a multi-generational approach with the home visits to make sure everyone can succeed.

“When families function well, they're more productive, both the parents and their children. And they have the opportunity to be more successful,” Ferrier said.

“It's an investment into our children and their future,” Yolanda Valenzuela with Kym’s Angels said.

It's a personal mission for Valenzuela.

The Kym's Angels founder said she benefitted from home visits after her 30-year-old son was first diagnosed with autism.

She said it assisted her in finding out how to best help her son.

"They can help out with other situations that are occurring or reduce stressors by providing resources or services. Much like they did for me," Valenzuela said.

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These programs we spoke about are funded by either state or federal dollars so if you're interested, they are free. You can find out more here.

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