Real success stories from real S4KF clients
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was surprised. I was going to be 15-16 years old with a baby and I didn’t know anything- that was when I met my case manager. I was living with my mom and there was limited food and income and my mom didn’t drive. Healthy Start provided me with food and bus passes to get to my appointments, and helped make sure my baby was ok. I was provided pamphlets on what to expect on my pregnancy.
I definitely needed help when I found out I was pregnant. At first I didn’t understand what it was all about until I started talking to my case manager.
With Healthy Start, I’ve learned to make choices now for just me and the baby.
Healthy Start has helped me-I didn’t have enough money for food, and my case manager told me about a church that gives away food. I didn’t have to worry about being hungry anymore.
Without Healthy Start, I would be back at home with Mom and Dad. I didn’t know what to do, I was scared, I wanted to go home but now I’m okay.
Healthy Start is phenomenal- If I know someone else that gets pregnant, I would refer them. I plan to keep working with them after I have the baby. The program is better than anything I have ever heard of.
You [Healthy Start] do wonders.
Without Healthy Start my baby would be in a foster home or I would have had to give her up because I wasn’t stable enough to take care of a baby.”
I filled out the screening paperwork at the doctors. I am the baby in my family, so I’ve never been around babies. They teach you parenting skills, so I wanted the help- I needed it. They give you information on what to expect during pregnancy, labor, what to do and what not to do. They say your mother is supposed to be very helpful during pregnancy, but my mother wasn’t. Healthy Start is beneficial because it’s someone to talk to that isn’t the doctor and they discuss your point of view.
“For any pregnant mom who needs any kind of help, Healthy Start can definitely help you.
It helps, because being a new mom; you have a lot of fears. I’m afraid to change her diaper. I was afraid to give my son a bath-terrified- and they can help you with that. Any fear that you have, questions that you have, don’t hesitate to ask. I love Healthy Start.
Without Healthy Start, I would be sitting in a room in the dark, moaning and groaning. I didn’t want to discuss my daughter. I would rather sit alone, but talking with a grief counselor has helped me understand that they couldn’t do anything to help her. I’m better with that, than sitting here depressed.
I’m making progress. I know I’m going to get better and I’m going to be a good mom. When they hand her to me and she’s ok, then I’ll grin. She provides me comfort and sanity while I wait.
(Case Manager) Technically we work 9-5, but if they need me they can call me anytime. If I don’t answer, I tell them to leave a message and I’ll call back if it’s important or they let me know if it can wait until Monday.
When I went into labor, I didn’t realize I was in labor. My doctor told me one thing, but what my case manager told me is what happened. Thinking about everything she said is what made me know what to do. She really does help. When no one else in the room knew what to say, I called her because she was always there to lend encouraging words. And I was more prepared because of her with what would happen after I had the baby. I didn’t have a breakdown when I looked up and the baby was gone because I was prepared for what would happen. It was rough, but I made, and I had encouragement from my case manager.
Healthy Start is worth it- it’s not like you have to go somewhere to access them, they come to you. They bring you educational information and answer questions and give you different perspectives. It’s your own tailored approach to what you need. They’ll be there to help you find resources you need- WIC, breastfeeding, educational classes- they are there to lend support and they don’t leave you once you have the baby.
Every time I needed her, she was there. That is something you never forget. Had this program not been there, it would have been very difficult. I think this program helped me so much, which had a domino effect on my daughter. It helped me encounter changes in my life that 12 years ago were not there. I needed to make sure that I was healthy, not only physically, emotionally, and spiritually- I needed to be a whole to be a good mother to my children.
If the mother is not healthy, well adjusted in one area of their life, then that is just going to trickle down. If you want to have a healthy, well adjusted pregnancy, then the tools that Healthy Start provides can help you have that. It is an awesome resource.
Also, I’m very glad that it wasn’t only about me and my 7 month old baby, it was about my son too. Every time my case manager came, she always involved my son. That is important because he is part of my family.
The counselor that was given to me was the perfect fit for me. I would have been here, but I don’t know how.
What I needed from Healthy Start was support and letting me know that they were there for me, and that was the ultimate for me. I had a lot of friends, but I don’t have family and they filled that need.
I am actually very proud that I was part of this program. If I had this pregnancy and had no knowledge about HS, I wouldn’t have checked the box but I did because I remembered the impact it had on me the first time.
(Case Manager) We go beyond the call of duty, some people think we go out and only educate...which we do, but we also go out and do hands on stuff as well. We work as a team, so I get on the phone with my supervisor saying I need, I need and supervisors say ok, come pick it up. We work as a big family and try to make sure that everyone is happy and if they’re not then we are going to find out why not.
S4KF encourages us to provide a crisis intervention plan to our clients before it happens. This will help our clients when they are in need - at anytime.
(Case Manager) Before S4KF things were always talked about, but nothing was ever done. S4KF is very concerned about the well being about our program and making sure our program works. They want to integrate what they already do, with our programs to create a whole system of care. I think it’s a perfect fit. There were 2 agencies that tried to get Healthy Start- S4KF and a national agency where we were just going to be a small part of this bigger organization. We went with S4KF because we wanted to make sure that our whole program was going to go intact, without breaking it up, to an organization that is going to improve the program as opposed to changing it. The services they already offer fit so well with the services we offer. We were very excited we went with S4KF instead of the other agency, because with S4KF we can make a difference. I also like that the Executive Director has experience in social services and degrees in social services, so clearly she is an advocate of social services and will be for our programs.
(Case Manager) I have worked to help her make the transition from a terrified mom, to a confident mother.
You really have helped me. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. I don’t know where I would be without Healthy Start. She would be sleeping with me until she was 2 years old and I’d be searching online about everything that could happen. Now, I’ve learned to take it as it comes. That’s what you’ve taught me.
(Case Manager) From the time that we first started working together, there is a huge difference on how confident she is and relaxed now. She has put aside the fear of having a baby, to now being able to enjoy her baby.
I honestly don’t know where I would be without Healthy Start. During my first pregnancy I didn’t have Healthy Start, but they came after I gave birth. The case manager I had wasn’t anything like Tonia- she was rude, uncouth and I didn’t like her, so I only used her once.
Without my case manager, I would have stayed depressed, worse than I was. It’s nice to have someone else. I have my Mom, but she’s an insider so it was hard for her to help me regain my confidence. If I didn’t have her, I would pretty much be dead. I would have been depressed and cried all the time. She’s been there to give me the extra push. I’m still scared, but she makes me know I’ll get through it.
(Case Manager) When I first met her, I was afraid that she was going to be unable to bond with this baby and we discussed that, because she had such anxiety about the whole situation and now to see them together is just amazing. I haven’t done anything she didn’t already know, but I came from the outside and told her she can do this. And, sometimes that’s all you need is that extra encouragement and support.
Healthy Start is something other than textbook; they reassure that it’s ok to feel the way you do.
Healthy Start also gives you information for other resources, like classes you can take for your baby and WIC that doctor’s do not give. I’ve never heard of WIC until Tonia showed up with pamphlets.
I really benefited from the educational aspect, and having the support. Having my case manager as a listening ear that cares and knowing I’m not just another patient or another bill. She is someone that is actually interested in what I have to say and how I’m feeling and wants to discuss that.
(Case Manager) My role with her is different, we still do the education portion, but at the same time my role is to support her. My support role is much bigger than last time, but this time I’m here to tell her it’s ok. It’s ok to wait to name the baby. All those things you are thinking do not make you a bad mother. From the time I saw you 8 weeks ago, you have come so far. You are finally talking about the baby. Each situation is different, depending on what she needs. We are here to suport and provide referrals to other agencies too.”
(Case Manager) It means a lot to hear her say that I was the voice in her head that got her through. I’m glad that I can be here to give her the support and encouragement that she needed to help her through. That’s what we are here for.
It is worth it. I had the basic concepts, but what to really expect is what Healthy Start has provided me. This could happen, these are the other possibilities- the what if’s. And, they are there to help with the what if’s and not just talk at you.
Without Healthy Start, I think it would have been very difficult. Financially I could not have been able to afford the services that Healthy Start gave me free of charge- it was given. I didn’t have that worry, and to know that I had someone that I could talk to that is objective is key, as well as the confidentiality.
I don’t think I would have been cohesive or well rounded and my child would not have been as well adjusted as if I wouldn’t have had Healthy Start. I would highly recommend, without a doubt, Healthy Start to a pregnant mother. Every woman no matter what their socioeconomic status can always have more help and knowledge.
I am honored to have met her. It would be tragic if this program were to ever terminate. I think one of the saddest parts for me is when my service terminated- it was like a death- but it is the healthy thing to do because now this service can be provided to someone else that needs it even more so than maybe I needed it. I wouldn’t grow in certain areas if I keep continuing with the program.