Healthy Families Durham

Health Families Durham

Healthy Families Durham (HFD) offers early childhood intervention services through an intensive home-visiting program. The program is designed to improve parent-child interaction and child social-emotional well-being, promote parenting skills, enhance child health and development, increase school readiness, support family self-sufficiency, and reduce risk for child maltreatment. We believe that parenting is both a rewarding and a difficult job. HFD seeks to support families and relieve some of the stress of being a parent, using approaches that focus on family strengths and cultural sensitivity. Parents are a baby’s first and most important teachers. Knowing what to expect at each age and stage makes parenting fun and helps children grow to their full potential.

Healthy Families Durham serves approximately 165 families per year. Services are free to all families and available in English and Spanish.


Long-term Home Visiting

Families participate in regular, weekly home visits for up to three years. We offer at least one home visit per week for the first six months after the child’s birth. After those initial months, visit frequency is based on families’ needs and progress over time. Typically, home visits last one hour. During these visits, Family Support Workers use the evidence-based Parents as Teachers curriculum to enhance child development, health, safety, and parent-child relationships. Immunizations and well child care visits are monitored; developmental screenings are conducted every six months. Family Support Workers also provide families with case management services to connect them to appropriate community resources.

During home visits, Family Support Workers provide information on:

  • Infant care
  • Child growth and development
  • Nutrition
  • Prenatal care
  • Community resources
  • Child care
  • Support groups
  • Parenting skills

Support Groups

HFD offers parent support groups to connect families enrolled in the program to other parents, build parent-child relationships, and enhance child development skills. Groups are offered in English and Spanish, and are held in convenient community locations.

Additional Services Available

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP): CPP is a therapeutic service for parents and children (0-5 years old) who have experienced traumatic events, such as witnessing violence, separation from caregiver, and chronic stress, in order to help them cope with the negative impact of these events. Hour-long home visits are provided weekly for one year. Parents learn to understand their child’s behavior and provide emotional safety.

Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC): ABC is a brief, 10-session service provided weekly in the home for an hour each week. It is available for families with infants and toddlers ages 6 to 48 months. ABC helps to build the attachment and connection between parents and very young children, and supports healthy child social-emotional development. It is appropriate for any family with a child in this age range, particularly if they have had early life challenges (early separation such as hospitalization or foster care, parental mental health or substance use problems, domestic violence).

Eligibility & Referrals

Healthy Families Durham offers its long-term home visiting model for up to three years to first-time parents* who are pregnant or have a baby up to three months old. Families are selected based on one or more of the following risk factors:

  • First-time parents
  • Teen parents
  • Social isolation
  • Mental health and/or substance use problem
  • History of domestic violence or childhood maltreatment
  • Poverty

ABC and CPP are additional services available based on family interest/needs and/or recommendations during assessment.

* Note: Families living in the EDCI Zone are eligible for HFD’s long-term home visiting services beginning during pregnancy or the first 3 months of the baby’s life, even if the baby is not a parent’s first child.

For referrals to Healthy Families Durham, call Griffin Sloop, Intake Coordinator, at (919) 385-0759.

Healthy Families Durham is accredited by Healthy Families America®. A portion of these services is made possible by our funding partner, Durham’s Partnership for Children, a Smart Start Initiative. Funding also comes from the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, the United Way of the Greater Triangle, and the Durham County Nonprofit Agency Funding Program. The Community Advisory Board, which consists of local partner agencies, meets quarterly to provide guidance, strengthen community collaboration, and share community updates.

Contact Us

Program Manager: Tomeika Watson
(919) 385-0773

This form is not secure and should only be used for general inquiries about Healthy Families Durham.
For inquiries about referrals, see Eligibility & Referrals.

Healthy Families Durham Contact Us
Sarah Cengel, LCSW Therapist, Bilingual English/Spanish
Luisa Cesar, LCSW-A Family Support Worker, Bilingual English/Spanish
Sharon Crews, MA Family Support Worker, Bilingual English/Spanish
Cheryl T. Davis-Dukes, MPA Family Support Worker
Nikki Parker Family Support Worker
Ana Rivera, BA Family Support Worker, Bilingual English/Spanish
Agatha Schutte Family Support Worker
Griffin Sloop, LCSW Intake Coordinator, Family Support Worker