‘Childhood Begins at Home’ – Helping Families Where They Live

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A child advocacy group met with lawmakers from Lycoming County to discuss future state funding.

Taylor Yeagle and her 2-year-old son Sawyer from Jersey Shore are all smiles but it's not always this way. Yeagle will tell you raising a child comes with its challenges.

"You go through a period after you have a baby where everything is really stressful and you feel like you don't have anyone to talk to and nothing feels good."

Yeagle stopped by UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport to talk about her experience with the state-funded program Nurse-Family Partnership.

That's where she met Jocelyn Shirey, R.N.

"We really kind of become part of their family where we are sitting in their living room with them along with the people who are so important to them," Shirey said.

"It's really nice to be able to talk to someone that can talk you through those challenges," Yeagle said.

Several nonprofits and child advocacy groups in Lycoming County met with Senator Gene Yaw to discuss the future of programs like Head Start and Nurse-Family Partnership.

"What home visiting really does is get professionals in the home, typically at-risk homes, and really trying to prevent the cycle that you can see, whether it's child abuse or dependency on government assistance, and really try to promote economic self-sufficiency," said Kari King, president and CEO of PA Partnerships for Children.

The campaign Childhood Begins at Home is working to secure $5 million in the next state budget to help serve about 800 more families.

"Currently there are about 3,700 children who would be eligible for home services, but unfortunately, only about 200 are currently receiving those services," King said.

"He's talking at full sentences at 2 and a half. Do I think that would have happened without Jocelyn? No," said Yeagle.

For more information about Childhood Begins at Home, visit their website.

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