Program Leader Advocates for Collaboration in Supporting Parents

In an intimate conversation regarding prenatal and after birth support, Cathy Reid, Program Manager of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network, makes her case for collaboration in healthcare.
LaShanna Bruce, North Pulaski 100 Families County Coordinator and Cathy Reid, Program Manager of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network
LaShanna Bruce, North Pulaski 100 Families County Coordinator and Cathy Reid, Program Manager of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network

"I wanted to cry," Reid begins as she recalls how she felt when she first heard about the strategies and software being used by 100 Families to improve outcomes for families.

"Not sad tears," she says, "but tears of joy."

As the program manager for the Arkansas Home Visiting Network, Cathy Reid provides support and services to vulnerable families from pregnancy until the child is age 3. The voluntary programs match participants with trained providers from their own communities, such as nurses or parent educators, to help motivated parents learn better skills to be successful in their parenting.

At a 100 Families Alliance Meeting in Little Rock, Reid expresses to County Coordinator LaShanna Bruce that she has often felt that the disconnect between organizations and healthcare providers makes it difficult for mothers in crisis to succeed. In order to provide comprehensive care for a family, several referrals, intake processes, phone calls, and applications have to take place at a time when parents are already so busy.

"We don't realize they already have so much to do and sometimes when our plate is full, we kind of sit paralyzed."

Reid believes that families can benefit from more than just being handed a brochure or given a to do list. They need someone to come alongside them and help them get connected to the agencies and resources they need. Reid says it is often surprising to see how something as simple as making a phone call with a mom can empower her and motivate her to take initiative.

The HopeHub collaboration software 100 Families partners use is, according to Reid, an answer to prayer, because it makes building these bridges between agencies more seamless.

Reid's largest praises for the software are that it saves time, it makes connecting to other agencies easier, and, because of the quick access and communication between providers, prevents her clients from having to relive trauma by having to explain why they need help time and time again to different agencies.

"It was a relief to know that now they don't have to relive that trauma over and over and over again just to get the help they need."

Toward the end of their conversation about the challenges that prenatal and postnatal mothers face, Bruce poses the question, "How can we do with you and your agency to help families you are serving?"

To this, Reid gives a call to action to join HopeHub and get trained on it so that the resource and referral pool can grow and her clients can receive the best care the community has to offer.

Deanna Walderns, Cathy Reid, and LaShanna Bruce
Deanna Walderns, Cathy Reid, and LaShanna Bruce

Smart Justice is a magazine, podcast, and continuing news coverage from the nonprofit Restore Hope and covers the pursuit of better outcomes on justice system-related issues, such as child welfare, incarceration, and juvenile justice. Our coverage is solutions-oriented, focusing on the innovative ways in which communities are solving issues and the lessons that have been learned as a result of successes and challenges. 

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