More than 100 attendees gathered to celebrate the service and impact Healthy Families Alexandria, a program of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), has provided to the local community.
(Alexandria, Va. – Oct. 13, 2017) More than 100 families, supporters, volunteers and staff members gathered at Ft. Ward Park on Oct. 6 to celebrate NVFS’ Healthy Families Alexandria program and its 25 years of service to and impact on families in the city of Alexandria. Attendees enjoyed picnic fare, such as hot dogs, burgers and fruit, along with activities such as parachute games, bubble-blowing, face painting, arts & crafts, and raffles. In addition, children enjoyed visits with members of Fire Station 206 and therapy dogs from Caring Angels.
“The event was so much fun — I loved sharing my experiences with the program!” exclaimed one Healthy Families mother. “I was so proud to share everything that I have learned during the past three years with all the staff members there.”
In the past year alone, the Healthy Families Alexandria program has provided more than 200 families with the tools and resources they need to promote healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect. The program is designed for parents facing challenges such as single parenthood; low income; childhood history of abuse and other adverse child experiences; and current or previous issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence. Services include ensuring that expecting mothers have access to proper prenatal care, and that parents are able to better establish strong relationships, and create a supportive home environment for their child’s development.
“Our work helps keep people on the road to a joyful, positive childhood experience,” explained Nanci Pedulla, director of Healthy Families programs at Northern Virginia Family Service. “Everything we do is to try to develop strong parent-child attachments. Children who have a strong attachment with a primary caregiver are likely to grow into successful, healthy adults, which has a huge impact on not just the individual, but on the families, the communities they live in, and society as a whole.”
NVFS also operates Healthy Families programs in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties. For more information on NVFS and the Healthy Families program, visit nvfs.org/healthyfamilies.