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Prince George's County and Freddie Mac Foundation Join to Strengthen County's Children and Families

Prince George's County and Freddie Mac Foundation Join to Strengthen County's Children and Families

Published 11-07-00

Submitted by Freddie Mac Foundation

The Freddie Mac Foundation and Prince George's County today announced the expansion of Healthy Families Prince George's, a highly successful child abuse prevention program to reach more of the county's families. This expansion is part of the county's extensive efforts to ensure that babies are born healthy and children remain safe in their families and communities.

"We are very pleased to be working with Wayne Curry and his staff to expand Healthy Families Prince George's to serve even more county families. Strong, healthy families are the building blocks for a strong, healthy community; and that's what this program is all about," explained Maxine B. Baker, president and CEO, Freddie Mac Foundation. "Healthy Families America is an investment in parents that works. We are so convinced of its effectiveness that we have replicated it throughout the metropolitan area."

A rapidly growing population has necessitated increased investment in services offered to help children and families and increased efficiencies in providing these services. In particular, the southern part of the county has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of high-risk families moving to the county from the District of Columbia. Coupled with this migration, there are a growing number of teenage mothers in this area who are in need of services. To help provide services to these families, the Freddie Mac Foundation has granted $450,000 to expand Healthy Families Prince George's, a local adaptation of Healthy Families America-the nationally recognized program proven to help first-time parents be better parents through intensive home visits.

The Foundation and Prince George's first partnered to bring this exceptional program to the county more than three years ago. This new grant coupled with county support will expand the program to the southern part of the county to help address the growing needs of these families. The initial Healthy Families sites were in the Landover and Langley Park areas. The Foundation's total commitment to this program in Prince George's in now nearly $1 million.

Healthy Families Prince George's main goals are to: advance optimal child development; improve new parents' knowledge of child care and child behavior; enhance parent-child interaction and bonding; prevent child abuse and neglect; and provide preventive health care for children. The program is known for virtually eliminating child abuse and neglect-before it ever starts. Based on two decades of research, the Healthy Families America model features weekly home visits by trained professionals to first-time parents for the first five years. These professionals work with families to build parenting skills, ensure that children receive preventative health, and develop realistic expectations regarding child development.

The Freddie Mac Foundation focuses its funding on programs that seek to prevent child abuse and neglect, find homes for foster children, and strengthen early childhood education opportunities. In support of this, the Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Healthy Families America, investing more than $10 million since 1992 at the national, state and local levels to expand Healthy Families America, a program of Prevent Child Abuse America. In fact, the Foundation has helped replicate the program throughout the Washington, DC metro area-its headquarters location, committing nearly $5 million to help support more than 1,400 families at 10 sites.

Created by Freddie Mac in 1990, the Freddie Mac Foundation is dedicated to brightening the future for children, youth, and families at risk. To date, the Foundation’s funding has helped more than 1.2 million children. As one of the largest corporate funders in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Freddie Mac and the Freddie Mac Foundation have invested nearly $95 million in nonprofit organizations serving children and families.

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