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“It helps your child’s life be the best it can be”

March 15, 2013

Four years ago when Amanda Russell was pregnant with her first child, she was eager to give her baby a healthy start.

So when Amanda happened to stop by her sister’s house during a home visit from LSI family support worker Dawn Holt, Amanda asked Dawn to enroll her on the spot for the same program.

“I wanted to make sure our baby stayed on track,” Amanda said. “I wouldn’t have known where to go if I hadn’t met Dawn. I was really excited she could help me keep my goal for my daughter. If I had concerns about her development, she could help.”

LSI’s HOPES, a home visitation program for parents of infants and toddlers, offers parenting tips, child development assessments, community resources and a listening ear when parents need to talk.

Amanda and her husband have three children under age four, an incredible challenge at times. Amanda’s only core support was her husband and best friend.

“Dawn is amazing,” Amanda said. “I’ve called her crying. I’ve called when I didn’t know what to do or was overwhelmed with my kids. I wasn’t worried to ask her about where to get help for stress. She cares, and she makes the situation better. Sometimes she told me things I didn’t want to hear, but she knew what she was talking about.”

One of Amanda’s biggest goals was making sure Khloie, her oldest daughter, was ready for preschool.

“I told Dawn I wanted to get Khloie in school as soon as possible, and Dawn helped me get her enrolled,” Amanda said. “I can ask her something, and she’ll follow up. I wouldn’t necessarily know where to begin.”

Amanda’s dreams for her daughter are already coming true.

“Her teacher was telling me the other day that they had the letters of each of the students’ names on the board, and Khloie knew them all and was the first to answer,” Amanda said proudly. “That’s exactly what I wanted. She’s told me Khloie is very smart for her age. Hearing that from an actual teacher – it was amazing. That’s what I wanted for her. Dawn gave me a way to reach my goal, and the program has made it a success.”

Amanda has turned to Dawn for everything from feeding tips to potty training advice to child development information.

“I love this program,” she said. “It’s done nothing but good for my family. It helps you get what you need done and helps your child’s life be the best it can be.”

Learn more about LSI’s early childhood services.

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