From the community

One Family’s Success in the Maine Families program

Posted July 02, 2013, at 10:46 a.m.
Last modified July 02, 2013, at 11:06 a.m.
Ashli Bickford (left) reads a book with her two youngest children during a home visit with Parent Education Professional, Claudia Williamson (right)
Ashli Bickford (left) reads a book with her two youngest children during a home visit with Parent Education Professional, Claudia Williamson (right)

ROCKLAND, Maine — Ashli Bickford is a proud mother of four children and has overcome many challenges since becoming a parent at age 16. She has grown as a person, a mother and a wife. Ashli credits her success to thinking outside the box and a home visiting program, known as Maine Families.

Ashli was drawn to the home visiting program each time she was pregnant because she knew it was a great resource for her and her family. Claudia Williamson, Parent Educator, provides Ashli with research-based information on topics like vaccinations, potty training and the importance of early literacy, to name a few. Ashli is a competent woman and states that Claudia respects her decisions as a parent and provides her with enough information so she knows that she’s making informed decisions.

Ashli believes the home visiting program is a major contributing factor in her family’s love of books. She knew reading to her children on a daily basis was important, but the information Claudia shares with her reinforces that she’s doing the right thing. For her youngest son’s baby shower, Ashli asked everyone to bring a children’s book instead of cards so they could help grow the family library.

Ashli recommends Maine Families to anyone, especially young mothers. Her advice? “If you give the program your all, it will work for you. The home visits are convenient and you’ll have someone that supports you and your decisions.” Ashli knows that she’ll be an even better parent in the future because of what she’s learned throughout her time in the program.

Maine Families uses the Parents as Teachers(TM) curriculum which focuses on the strengths of a family, rather than the deficits. All parents want what is best for their child, regardless of the family’s income, age or educational attainment. Maine Families is open to all families who are pregnant or have a newborn at home, whether the baby is their first, fourth or more!

If you or someone you know is pregnant or has a newborn at home who would like information about the Teen and Young Parent Program or Maine Families home visiting program, please call 207.594.1980 or toll-free within Maine at 877-972-5804. Enrollment takes place prenatally and up until the baby turns 3 months old. Parent Education Professionals use the Parents as Teachers(TM) curriculum to provide enrolled families with research-based, up-to-date information on subjects such as gross motor, routines, eating healthy, social/emotional development and much more. The Teen and Young Parent Program and Maine Families of Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties are proud to be a program affiliated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and in pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation—including transgender status and gender expression—national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, or veterans’ status in employment, education, and all other areas of the University. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

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