The CHILD Project: Road to Resilience (R2R)
R2R supports isolated-rural family and prevents lapse in healthcare.
For a rural family with an infant and two school-aged children participating in R2R, the onset of the pandemic became increasingly stressful to navigate. The family faced serious financial hardships when the father was sick and had hours reduced at work. In addition, the mother had to previously stop working in her last trimester without qualifying for disability benefits. They resorted to using credit cards to pay for food and other necessities. Meanwhile, the school-aged children struggled with online learning, and internet connectivity, forcing the family to use their cell-phone data thereby increasing their monthly cell phone bill by $45.00.
The family’s remote location meant they had a 30-minute drive to the nearest family resource center where they could access free food and other supports. With three young children at home, driving anywhere was a challenge and their financial struggles made it increasingly difficult to pay for gas to attend well-baby visits or go to school to pick up homework packets for the children. The mother even considered skipping doctor’s appointments, but her home visitor helped prevent a lapse in care by identifying the barrier and connecting the mother with support to attend the well-baby visit. Their home visitor also delivered food which helped with the family’s transportation barriers, helped the family register for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and provided other concrete supports like diapers, baby wipes, books, and child-proofing supplies.
The donations helped the family stretch their limited dollars to pay for other basic living expenses that were causing them stress like utilities and rent. While the father was sick, they were alone, without any other family members nearby who could help. Their home visitor drove out to their rural home, to check in, drop off nutritious food they lacked access to, and offered support and education they could use during the pandemic. The family often expressed their gratitude in tears because their home visitor showed them how much they matter.
R2R home visitor’s perspective:
I feel that R2R has given me more resources to bring to the families, in particular families that are struggling with caring for a young baby, parenting older children and trying their best to meet the children’s needs. There is a lot of need for these families and not enough resources to cover most of their needs.