For more than twenty years, Jefferson Area CHiP has enhanced the lives of more than 4,000 children in 2,000 families in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Louisa by building parents’ knowledge, confidence and self-sufficiency in creating healthy homes. CHiP’s fundamental belief is that good health care and a nurturing home environment are the cornerstones of every young child’s emotional and physical development and the foundations of school readiness, successful learning, and future contributions to society.
What are the elements of CHiP’s signature approach?
A Team Approach to Optimal Health and Self-Reliance. For each family, CHiP builds a three-way team comprising a registered nurse with community health expertise; a Family Support Worker with special certification in parent education; and the parents themselves, who bring crucial insights to the partnership. The nurse provides health assessments and connects the family with community pediatric and dental care providers, while the Family Support Worker uses the Parents as Teachers program to build on parents’ strengths and expand their problem-solving skills. Most importantly, the CHiP team helps families envision positive futures for their children and empowers them to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals and dreams.
Community Partnerships and Collaborations. CHiP’s longstanding relationships with community organizations ensure that every possible resource is brought to bear on the evolution of each family’s success. CHiP families benefit from a wide range of resources, including the Teen Health Center, the International Rescue Committee, Region Ten, Shelter for Help in Emergency, Sexual Assault Resource Agency, Ready Kids, Pediatric Connection and public and private pre-schools. CHiP plays a leadership role in the Smart Beginnings Initiative and is an original member of the Partnership for Children. Both organizations focus on the development of the young child and create coalitions for meeting early childhood needs. Finally, by providing community placement for UVA nursing students, pediatric residents, and medical students, CHiP brings continuing attention to the needs of young children in our community.
A Diverse and Culturally Competent Staff. In a multicultural community, knowledge of a diverse clientele is required to attain the level of trust and competence that is the key to CHiP’s success. CHiP has built a staff that reflects the diversity of the families it serves—ethnically, racially, and linguistically, including five professionals competent in both English and Spanish; CHiP also utilizes interpreter skills in more than 20 languages.
A Targeted Approach to Working with Pregnant and Parenting Teens. CHiP’s unique “Parenteen” program helps pregnant and parenting teens to continue their education, have a healthy pregnancy and raise a healthy child. By meeting with teens at school, in groups, and in their homes, and by accompanying them to medical appointments, CHiP staff ensure that pregnant and parenting teens get the care and support they need to nurture both themselves and their children.