Danielle knew she had to do something. She had a history of substance abuse, was in a physically abusive relationship, and had exhausted the goodwill of her friends and family. When she discovered she was pregnant, she resolved to face her problems head on, and checked into a home for pregnant women with drug problems.
From there she was introduced to Healthy Families, Southwest Human Development’s voluntary home visiting program that works to prevent child abuse and neglect.
It wasn’t a simple process. One of Healthy Families’ goals is prenatal-care education and preparation for motherhood. Danielle was at first unwilling to trust the help offered by the program. But the home visitor was persistent, even coming to the hospital when Joey was born. That was the turning point; Danielle realized that this person really did care and really did want to help.
After Joey was born, the child development education Danielle received helped her with questions that might have otherwise seemed overwhelming. The program also connected her to community services that provide food, diapers, toys and furniture to low-income families.
Danielle and Joey now live in their own apartment in Mesa. She has a job and is a full-time student, training to be a dental assistant. She continues to work with the Healthy Families program, attends counseling sessions at the treatment center, and has the support of her family once again.
Joey just celebrated his first birthday and is developing at an exceptional rate; the professionals who’ve worked with both of them say this is primarily due to Danielle’s hard work and dedication. Danielle thanks her son Joey for the change in her life, and credits the Healthy Families program and the treatment center for giving her the tools she needed.