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First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects

First Lady Diana Rauner is celebrating the launch of the Illinois Family Connects pilot program, a universal newborn support system.  It is a home visiting program administered by the Stephenson County Health Department and available to new babies and their families.

“I have seen firsthand that all families need some level or degree of support, and believe that offering every new parent a home visit to provide information, supports and resources can help every child thrive,” said First Lady Diana Rauner.

The Illinois Family Connects program is a community-based, universal program. The pilot program is at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Ill. Every family will be offered community-wide support at no cost that will begin with a community nurse meeting them at home after birth. Other support includes wellness checks for the baby and family and help to identify and connect with supportive resources from which any new family may benefit.

The pilot program is a product of the Illinois Home Visiting Task Force which Diana Rauner has co-chaired since 2009 and is a public-private partnership funded through federal and state grants. The Illinois Family Connects program was originally developed in Durham, N.C. This program makes Illinois a national model for supporting all families from cradle to career.