Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program
Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) is a long-term home visiting program provided by Public Health Nurses and Family Home Visitors. HBHC Public Health Nurses are registered nurses who specialize in child health and development. Family Home Visitors (FHVs) are experienced parents who have received extra training to support families with young children. Our FHVs come from many different cultural groups and may be able to provide service in the client’s preferred language.
The program is free, voluntary and clients do not require an OHIP card in order to receive service.
Clients who are referred to the HBHC program must provide consent for service.
Who Is Eligible
The Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program provides services to families in the prenatal period and to families with children in their early years (birth up until a child’s third birthday). Children can enter the HBHC program up until their third birthday.
To be eligible for HBHC services the client must be
- living in Toronto
- pregnant or parenting a child who is 0 to three years old
- the legal guardian of the child(ren)
- actively parenting the child(ren) in the family’s place of residence
- and available for home visits during our hours of operation.
The client must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Healthcare professional has concerns about the health and well-being of the client, family and/or child.
- Parent has concerns or questions about the child’s health and development, parenting, parent-child relationship.
- Newcomer to Canada, here less than three years and having their first baby in Canada.
- Client has a limited informal and/or formal support system.
- Client has a history of or is experiencing physical and/or mental health illness that is impacting capacity to parent or cope with pregnancy.
- Client facing challenging life situations or life stressors such as homeless, domestic violence, child protection concerns, no OHIP.
What Services Are Provided
- frequent and intensive home visiting by a Public Health Nurse and Family Home Visitor
- support and health teaching during the prenatal period
- breastfeeding and infant/child feeding support and teaching
- health promotion teaching related to child growth and development, parenting, healthy parent-child relationship
- referrals to community programs and health services
- service coordination to ensure families receive appropriate, integrated, needs-based coordinated services that build on their strengths
What Specialized Services Are Available
In order to meet the needs of Toronto’s diverse and vulnerable populations Toronto Public Health provides two additional targeted services under the HBHC program.
Homeless At Risk Prenatal (HARP) is a community visiting program that strives to promote positive prenatal and birth outcomes in homeless, transient pregnant women with multiple and complex health and social needs such as addictions, child protection services involvement. This service is provided by Public Health Nurses together with dietitians.
Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based home visiting program for young women (21 years old and under), experiencing their first pregnancy (first live birth), who are less than 29 weeks pregnant and experiencing financial stressors. This is a city wide service which is provided by Public Health Nurses.
HBHC Program Objectives
- supporting optimal prenatal health and birth outcomes
- improving child health and development outcomes
- improving the parent-child relationship
- improving parenting capacity
- promoting positive parenting skills