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Rosa was just eighteen years old and living in a shelter with her mother, when she gave birth to her daughter, Katherine. Being a single mother at such a young age, Rosa already felt nervous and unsure about caring for a young child, but her troubles were compounded when immediately postpartum, her appendix ruptured, leaving her in pain for weeks. This was when a social worker at Woodhull Hospital referred Rosa to Public Health Solutions’ Healthy Families Program, one of our free family support and home visitation programs.
Research has shown that father engagement in a child’s life is particularly important in the health and development of the infant and growing child. Recognizing the important role that fathers play in the overall development of families, Public Health Solutions (PHS) recently implemented a Fatherhood Initiative and will be working to expand the program throughout New York City.
Tyesha lost both of her parents by the time she was 21 years old. She found herself responsible for her three younger sisters, age 17 and 15-year-old twins. She knew she wanted to be there for her siblings, despite others suggesting she put them in foster care. “I couldn’t do that,” Tyesha says. “We are family, they are my sisters, and we belong together.”