Healthy Families America Awarded National Child Abuse Prevention Organization Accreditation

Healthy Families America (Courtesy)

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department celebrates the announcement from Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) that the Healthy Families America (HFA) affiliate, Healthy Families Santa Barbara County, has been awarded fidelity certification as a provider of high-quality home visiting services to pregnant families and families with infants and young children.

HFA is the signature program of PCA America and has been leading home visiting services for over 30 years. When expectant and new parents are facing new stressors and have questions about their child’s development, HFA connects with families through community partners like hospitals and pediatricians to support parents, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home.

One of the primary goals of HFA home visiting is to promote nurturing, responsive parent-child relationships. Home visitors in each community receive extensive training on a wide range of topics important to just about every new parent, such as: caring for a new baby, ensuring the baby is receiving the nutrition needed, promoting healthy child development, and coping with a myriad of other potential stresses, such as financial, housing, partner relationship, etc., that may become heightened with an addition to the family.

“HFA sites utilize evidence-based best practices to provide individualized support to families when needed most, and linkages to community services,” said Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of PCA America. “We congratulate Healthy Families Santa Barbara County and we commend the staff for their leadership and commitment that has contributed to this important achievement.”

The Fidelity Assessment process is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research. The process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operation, as well as the quality of visits made by HFA home visitors.

“We commend the Healthy Families Santa Barbara County for opening itself up to this review process,” said Kathleen Strader, National Director of HFA. “We believe that all families and all communities deserve access to quality home visiting services.”

Kelley Barragan, Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health (MCAH) Director and HFA Program Manager shared, “We launched our HFA home visiting program in July 2021 during a worldwide pandemic. We are proud to have achieved accreditation and to be currently serving 50+familes and counting throughout Santa Barbara County.”

Healthy Families America (Courtesy)
Healthy Families America (Courtesy)

PCA America was established in 1972 with the belief that child abuse and neglect is preventable. The not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization is committed to preventing child abuse in all forms through education, research, public awareness, and public policy development. Today, PCA America supports a network of state chapters across the United States. PCA America implemented the Healthy Families America (HFA) initiative in 1992. HFA serves families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, meeting the needs of close to 600 communities in 38 states, D.C., the U.S. Territories, and Israel. Healthy Families America is an effective and proven evidence-based home visiting program according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PCA America is proud to support HFA and to be part of a national movement dedicated to improving the lives of families and children.

SBC Public Health

Written by SBC Public Health

Public information provided by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Learn more at

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment

Scholarships Awarded to Graduating Seniors of Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Student Advisory Council

Researchers Reveal a New Approach for Treating Degenerative Diseases