After nearly two years of planning and research, the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County will begin implementation of a universal home visiting program for families with newborns in Cumberland County.

The Partnership for Children selected the Durham based Family Connects International as their program partner. The Family Connects evidence-based model has proven to reduce child abuse and neglectreduce emergency room visits,  save healthcare dollars, and improve the overall well-being of families with newborns.

Funding for implementation was made possible by a $250,000, five-year grant from the Elizabeth A. Hudspeth Endowment Fund of Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. This grant has allowed the Partnership to hire a Community Alignment Specialist to assist in the launch of the program.

The Partnership is pleased to announce Elizabeth (Liz) Simpler, MPH, CWWS, is the first hire in the implementation phase of the program. Liz is the Community Alignment Specialist and is responsible for bringing community resources together, engaging key community stakeholders, and supporting positive health outcomes for our youngest children and their families. Liz, originally from Pennsylvania, holds a Masters in Public Health and ten years of experience in health and wellness promotion, community health work, and strategic planning. Liz is currently working on her doctorate. She is specifically passionate about maternal health and workplace wellness.

Family Connects International is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families by bringing evidence-based solutions to every community, undertaking innovative research and evaluation, and engaging in public policy.

The Partnership for Children of Cumberland County is a nonprofit organization with a successful record of making a difference for Cumberland County’s children. We are the local administrator for Smart Start, North Carolina’s early childhood initiative, and the NC Pre-Kindergarten Program. Our central goal of the Partnership is that all children arrive at kindergarten, ready for success in school. We do this by providing resources, support, and programs that Empowers FamiliesAdvances Children’s Wellbeing, and Strengthens Early Care and Education in our community.   For more information about the Partnership and Family Connects International, contact Sharon Moyer at [email protected].