About Us

Mother, nurse & child
From the moment a child is born, brain growth, approaches to life, learning and language skills are being shaped. Unarguably, the most important and influential factor is the quality of relationships that infants and toddlers have with adults, particularly their parent(s) or primary caregiver(s). In order to create the safe, healthy and positive environment that newborns need to thrive, it is crucial to provide families access to the appropriate health and family supports at this early stage.

Family Connects Illinois (FC IL) uses an evidence-based universal approach for supporting newborns and their families, contributing to a healthy and encouraging foundation for future success in the child’s life. The first of its kind in the state of Illinois, FC IL ensures that there is an entry point for all families in a community – including those in need – to receive customized services and support from which they could benefit. This universally accessible program provides between one and three nurse home visits to every family with a newborn beginning at about three weeks of age, regardless of income or demographic risk. Using a tested screening tool, the nurse measures newborn and maternal health and assesses strengths, interests and needs to effectively link the family to community resources.

Less visible, but as important, are the benefits to the community, the most dramatic being cost savings on emergency medical care for mothers and infants (i.e. fewer emergency visits and preventable medical interventions). Additionally, the universal model encourages strong collaborative relationship among hospitals, medical providers, local and state service providers, early care and education programs, and their county health departments. These relationships result in community linkages to a wide array of supports, ranging from parks and libraries to shelters and food pantries, to medical providers and home visiting programs.