Recent Refugees Meet their Children's Health and Educational Needs
Posted on: Tuesday, March 30, 2010Seven months ago, the Family Home Visiting public health nurse began working with a family who had moved to the United States about two years ago as refugees. The family had been living in another state before moving to Minnesota. They had three children under the age of seven, with a fourth child born one week after the family was opened to public health nursing services. Both parents had very limited English-speaking skills and often found it difficult to access services in the community. With no relatives in the area, the also family lacked social support.
The seven-year-old had not been enrolled in school and the three oldest children were behind on their immunizations. The infant was the only child in the family who had been started on a vaccination schedule in the United States. After learning about importance of immunizations from the public health nurse, the parents decided to get their children started with the recommended immunization schedules. With much encouragement and many reminders, the family has now returned to the clinic for their children’s second and third sets of immunizations.
After the children received their first round of immunizations, the oldest child was eligible to attend school. The father reported that he planned to go to the local school to enroll his child. When asked if he needed help with enrolling his child, he said that he felt comfortable going alone, but he did not follow through in doing this. After consulting with a youth specialist from a local police department, the youth specialist agreed to accompany the parent to the school to assist with the enrollment process. The father agreed to this, and they went together to enroll the child in school.
Today, all four children are up-to-date with their immunizations and the oldest child has successfully completed kindergarten. Without the Family Home Visiting program, it is likely that these children would still be behind on their immunizations and the oldest child may not have been enrolled in school.