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Agency that helps Crawford County families... - KOAM TV 7

Agency that helps Crawford County families is forced to shut its doors

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The Healthy Families Program can no longer stay open due to a loss of funding.  Healthy Families came to Crawford County back in 2009 at the request of stakeholders due to high rates of child abuse and neglect.  The program seeks to help parents give their children the right start to life, starting from pregnancy to the first three months, through their children's first three to five years.

Beginning Friday the program will no longer be able to help area families.

For the past four years the Healthy Families program from the Kansas Children Service League has helped Crawford County families like Kimberly Feugate and her daughter Chloe learn key development strategies for their kids early in life.

"They didn't just help Chloe, they kind of helped me develop having a child," says Feugate.

From teaching Chloe learning tools to simply getting help with transportation to doctor's visits, Feugate says Healthy Families and their home visits have been a saver in her life, and that she was shocked to hear of the funding loss that would force it to close it's doors.

"It's sad because it's helped me out so much," says Feugate.

The closing is a result of how state funding from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is allocated.  The one worker in Crawford County already works with 20 families, and with new regulations it would have been more.

"It's hard enough for one worker to serve a whole county and so it was pretty much totally unrealistic for us to serve a whole entire region, I mean that would have been the whole east side of the state," says Southeast Kansas Healthy Families Supervisor Erin Bunn.

Despite the loss of funding in Crawford County the Healthy Families program says they won't stop searching for funds until they find more.

"We definitely don't want it to be gone forever, I mean, we would love love love to be able to find more funding and be able to continue it," says Bunn.

Feugate would also like to see the program continue, saying it has made being a first time mom less scary and has helped Chloe develop at a faster rate than others her age.

Again, the program in Crawford County was cut due to state funding.  However, Bunn says the Healthy Programs in both Cherokee and Montgomery counties will remain because their funding comes from the federal level, not the state level.

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