Stronger Families and a Brighter Future – The Durango Herald

We have all heard the saying “it takes a whole village” to raise a child. That was true before COVID-19 hit, and for most families it’s even truer today. Parents and caregivers face more barriers than two years ago, such as childcare shortages, higher costs of living and smaller support networks. While SafeCare can’t solve all the world’s problems, we can share education and resources to make parenting easier and more enjoyable.

SafeCare is a free and voluntary parenting support program for parents and caregivers with children under 6 years old. At San Juan Basin Public Health, our parent support providers are flexible and schedule home visits based on the needs of each family. Through SafeCare, we support three key outcomes that are important to all families: health, safety and connection.

Given the pandemic, it’s no surprise that one of our most popular topics is health. Many new parents are not comfortable caring for their children at home when they are sick or injured – it’s all part of the parenting learning curve. We can help you spot the first signs of illness or injury, teach you how to provide basic care at home, and help you know when your child needs to be seen by their doctor or taken to the emergency room. We can also help you stock your first aid cabinet with free health supplies like thermometers or medicine syringes. We know it’s scary when your child is sick or injured, and we want to help you feel confident about taking care of your child the best you can!

We also work with families to prevent common household injuries. As your baby grows, he quickly becomes a curious toddler who darts from side to side of the room before you can even blink – and sometimes it seems like no area of your house is forbidden to his adventures. Our vendors help families identify common home safety and health risks and can provide you with free supplies to secure your home. We also talk with families and caregivers about the amount of supervision needed for different ages, to help find the balance between encouraging your little one’s independence while keeping them safe and sound.

Taking care of your child’s health and safety is very important, as is building your relationship with your child. Our final topic, Bonding, helps parents and caregivers establish age-appropriate routines, encourages parents and children to play and have fun together, and gives tips and tricks to add to your box. tools to have less difficult and more positive moments with your child. . To put it simply, the link is about helping caregivers find the joy of parenting and helping each family find milestones to celebrate on their journey.

SafeCare delivers real results for parents of young children. One client, a single father who just turned 20, started the program hesitantly. He works full time and is raising an 18-month-old child on his own and felt overwhelmed by his busy life as a young father. He chose health for his first SafeCare topic and has already put his knowledge to good use: once when his son had an ear infection and again when the child fell in the playground. Either way, what he learned in a SafeCare session and through the manual helped him determine what to do next to care for his son.

This SafeCare client feels much more confident in themselves as a parent and in their abilities to make good parenting decisions. He is glad to have a trusted, non-judgmental SafeCare provider to offer him encouragement and support. And he’s just one of many families who have benefited from SafeCare over the years.

We recognize that parenting can be very challenging, yet very rewarding – and we help leverage each carer’s existing skills, knowledge and strengths to make parenting an even richer experience. If you would like more information about SafeCare, please visit or call 335-2041.

Jenn Heath is the San Juan Basin Public Health SafeCare Program Manager. Contact her at

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