County-based public health agencies are the primary providers of perinatal, maternal and child health supports. During COVID-19, counties are finding new ways to ensure expecting and new parents have what they need to thrive. Home visiting is a critical prevention approach for reducing high-risk factors related to substance abuse, smoking cessation, violence, and child maltreatment, promoting strategies for positive parent-child attachment and health and nutrition and offering in-home coaching supporting early childhood development, learning activities and regular screenings. Perinatal health services help pregnant women access prenatal care, birthing services and other supports that address high-risk and socioeconomic factors. Counties are continuing these services virtually, promoting telehealth and telepsychiatry, and working to ensure providers have the necessary equipment to use teleconferencing, video conferencing in service delivery.
The health and safety of residents are paramount for counties. County human services staff are on the frontlines providing essential medical, nutrition and financial assistance and economic supports to children, families and older adults at a critical time in our country and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.