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For Release:  Feb. 22, 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Community Input Requested for Home Visitation Grant 

The Federal Affordable Care Act Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program recently announced federal funding available for states to expand and improve existing home visitation services. As part of its grant application, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has conducted a statewide needs assessment and identified Kay County as the county most in need of enhanced and expanded home visitation services for young children and families.

Home visitation programs are defined as services offered on a voluntary basis to pregnant women, expectant fathers, parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 5. The services focus on improving parenting skills through better understanding of early childhood development.

The OSDH is seeking input from Kay County citizens to find the best ways to reach young children and families through improved home visitation programs in Kay County.  Information from the community will be collected using focus groups that include program participants, community professionals, and the general public. Focus group sessions will be held on Thursday, March 3, at the Pioneer Technology Center (east side) at 2101 N. Ash, Ponca City.  The public is invited to participate in these sessions that will begin at 5:30 p.m. Information collected from public input will be used in the OSDH grant application.

The complete needs assessment can accessed at the Oklahoma Department of Health Web site at the following address:  http://www.ok.gov/health/documents/Needs Assessment entire document.pdf .

Additional information specific to Kay County can be found at the Kids Count Data Center website:  http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bystate/stateprofile.aspx?state=OK&group=All&loc=5301&dt=1,3,2,4 .

To learn how you can participate in the focus groups, please contact Lily Freeman at uwsuccessby6@cableone.net or (580) 765-9015; Maggi Hutchason at dearinghouse@sbcglobal.net or (580) 762-5266, or OSDH Family Support and Prevention Service Grant Coordinator Kathie Burnett at kathieb@health.ok.gov or (405) 271-7611. 



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