First Connections Program

Mission

To support families and their children during the early years of childhood development by giving them the information and services they need to be as healthy and successful as possible.

2014 Accomplishments and Milestones

  • 43% percent of newborns referred through the Level 1 process received at least one visit. Integration of First Connections and other evidence-based family visiting programs increased from 43% in State Fiscal Year 2014 to 48% in State Fiscal Year 2015.

What We Do

Engage families who may benefit from family visits

Anyone may offer to arrange a family visit for a family. We take referrals from:

  • Birthing hospitals, when a newborn is discharged from the hospital. Referrals are based on the results of the newborn developmental assessment or on the clinical judgment of hospital staff.
  • Healthcare and social service providers, if they think a child and family would benefit from family visiting.
  • Families (i.e., self-referrals). more

Conduct family visits

We provide free, voluntary, confidential family visits statewide to pregnant women and families with young children, birth to age three. Trained nurses, social workers, and community health workers meet with families in their homes or anywhere in their communities to talk about their needs, answer questions they may have, and conduct comprehensive assessments. If needed, family visitors can make arrangements for interpretation services during visits.

Link families with medical homes and social services

Family visits are based on the needs of the family. Visit topics may include health education and connections with appropriate healthcare services, human services, and community resources. If a child does not have a medical home, we can help the family find one. We can also conduct developmental screenings and communicate the results with the child's healthcare provider.

Collect data

We provide the Department of Health with a variety of data on the well-being and needs of Rhode Island families.