City of Spartanburg, SC

01/19/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/19/2022 15:05

'Hello Family' support program for Spartanburg children and families begins work

Wednesday, January 19

Program to provide free, evidence-based early childhood support tools citywide

After Spartanburg City Council's unanimous approval to allocate $1.5 million in federal funding last fall for Hello Family, the transformative first-of-its-kind program-which provides a continuum of evidence-based services for all children born in the City of Spartanburg from prenatal care through age five-has officially launched in our community.

The product of over five years of work by the City and its partners, the program provides a collection of support systems that seek to improve outcomes for young children and their families in our community. Through the program, organizations working in Spartanburg to help expectant mothers and young families will be provided funding to scale-up their services citywide. Existing service providers expanding services thanks to Hello Family include BirthMatters, Triple P, and Quality Counts, and a new program, Family Connects is expected to begin work later this year.

Designed to significantly improve child well-being, boost future prosperity, and provide quantifiable financial benefits to our community well in excess of its cost, Hello Family provides, at a full citywide scale, free universal nurse home visiting, free evidence-based parent education and support tools, and significantly enhanced early learning opportunities.

Based on the work of James J. Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who found that investing in programs targeted at the earliest years of life yield the most lasting and cost-effective results, Hello Family will seek to improve birth outcomes, reduce child abuse and neglect, and improve kindergarten readiness throughout the City.

The Hello Family website provides parents and caregivers an easy "one stop shop" approach to locating and connecting to local resources, as well as information about program partners along and child development and screening information. The website also allows city residents to search by zip code for local services such as childcare and assistance with food and household utilities. Website visitors can also connect directly with Hello Family support staff through email, text, or phone.

The City is joined in investing in this innovative, transformative program by a wide range of partners including:

• A local individual philanthropist committing $1 million.
• The Mary Black Foundation committing $1 million.
• The Duke Endowment committing $1.5 million.
• The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation committing $1.5 million.
• Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System committing services valued at nearly $1 million