ending child abuse in the u.s.: an interview with suzin bartley
building bright futures
building bright futures
[Healthy Families: A Children’s Trust Program logo on screen]
Patricia Wornum, Healthy Families family support staff
Just being young and having a child, people look at you like you don’t know what you’re doing, and you can be fifty and have a child and don’t know what you’re doing. So it is okay to reach out for help, it’s okay.
Cassandra Hernandez, Healthy Families participant
It was a really big shock! I mean, I think it took a while to sink in.
Jessica Simmons, Healthy Families participant
When I first found out I was pregnant I was scared and nervous. I wasn’t sure how great of parents we would be together.
Keisha Harrison, Healthy Families participant
Not too many people felt the same way I did. Not too many people agreed with my decision, and so it cost me friendships and family members judging.
I didn’t really have a good relationship with my mom. Even something as simple as calling someone my mom, I didn’t have that.
I am a home visitor because I myself was a teen mom too, and I wanted to be able to give that support to someone else. Let them know that they’re not alone.
[sitting with Keisha and her daughter, playing with toys and laughing] To Keisha’s daughter: I’m paying attention, I’m sorry.
Healthy Families is for any young person. It’s a free program, it’s a voluntary program, so it’s for anybody.
[text on screen] Healthy Families helps you build the bright future you see for yourself, your baby, and your family.
I mean, you’ve got tattoos wrapped around your head, so be it! I’m just saying; I’ve got tattoos, it’s okay!
I immediately felt like she was there to help me and I felt safe. I felt that she was there to give me all the resources. She was my support system.
I thought it was more of a punishment type thing, because you’re a teen mom and you’re pregnant. Be she was really kind, she was really warm, and she didn’t make me feel like she was judging me at all. That really helped me feel comfortable right away.
Denzel Gonzalez, Healthy Families participant
I’m not here to have anybody be in my business, but it grew on me that they weren’t like that. They weren’t there to judge us, they were there to help us.
Anything I need, like, “Pat I’m confused,” or “I need help with this,” or just as far as giving me that extra push, she really is my go-to person for pretty much everything. [laughs]
[to Keisha’s daughter] Who’s that? Who’s that beautiful girl right there?
Life throws stuff at you and you can do it! You can make it through no matter what, and Healthy Families has definitely helped me feel that way.
It’s okay. You can open up, it’s alright. I’m here for you, not to harm you, not to judge you.
They’re willing to help you, and they’re going to help you in the best way that they possibly can.
[Keisha’s daughter puts on Patricia’s sunglasses]
Ooh, cool girl! I like it.
Honestly, it really is about you and your child as a whole. And anyone else who is involved in your life and your child’s life, they’re going to help you.
It doesn’t matter what your story is. We’re here to help you. It doesn’t matter if you have health care. It doesn’t matter your status. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, anything like that. We are here to help you.
[Healthy Families: A Children’s Trust Program logo]