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Family Stories

These stories illustrate how early childhood programs and services funded by First Things First make a difference for young children and families in communities across Arizona.

Four Peach Springs mothers, all sisters, find support for their young children through home visitation program

Rochelle Kennedy enrolled in the Maternal Child Health program two years ago when she was pregnant with her daughter, Mia. Kennedy learned so much from her home visitor that she recommended the program to her sister, who then recommended the program to another sister, who then recommended the program to another sister.

Although it is not uncommon in tribal regions for families to receive similar services, this is the first time the Hualapai home visitation program, which is funded by the First Things First Hualapai Tribe Region, has served four sisters at the same time. Between them, the sisters have six children under the age of 5. Families play a pivotal role in shaping their children’s lives, something the sisters say they have learned from the in-home visits that focus on providing them with parenting information and support.

Kennedy said her parent educator helped her better understand the stages of development that her 2-year-old daughter is going through. She said her parent educator listens to her concerns and offers advice rather than judgment on topics such as managing temper tantrums and transitioning children off of using a bottle.

“Although I can go to a doctor for help, there are very few places I can go that will compliment my child’s growth instead of looking for something wrong,” Kennedy said.

Her sister, Emmaline Powskey, has two girls under the age of 5. Powskey said the home visitation program has improved her relationship with her daughters.

“I can become overwhelmed with the small things, so having someone there to break down situations alleviates that,” Powskey said. “I have learned how to cope, reassure, and be in the moment with my daughters. This has helped me greatly understand that I am a big influence on their lives.”

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