Georgia Home Visiting Program Staff Spotlight: March 2018
Honoring our best and brightest who make a difference for Georgia's families.
Four Healthy Families Georgia Program Managers are Certified Peer Reviewers!
This month we congratulate Healthy Families Georgia Program Managers Carla Frye, Lori Hatton, Jennifer Henderson, and Caroline Pence for recently earning their Peer Reviewer certification from Healthy Families America (HFA ).

The role of the HFA Certified Peer Reviewer is to support efforts to ensure that sites are maintaining fidelity to the HFA model. The responsibilities include reviewing the self-study submitted by the site going through the accreditation process, completing the accreditation site visit which follows the submission of the self-study, and drafting the site visit report which provides the accreditation panel at HFA with the findings of the site’s accreditation efforts.

These four Program Managers have expert knowledge about the HFA model and successfully completed a challenging three day training in New Orleans last fall to earn their certifications. Read on to learn more about these outstanding leaders! 
Carla Frye
Program Manager since 2015
Healthy Families Houston
Rainbow House CRC
Houston County
Lori Hatton
Program Manager since 2013
Healthy Families of Coastal Georgia
Coastal Coalition for Children
Glynn County
Jennifer Henderson
Program Manager since 2010
Prevent Child Abuse Athens
Clarke County
Caroline Pence
Program Manager since 2000
Healthy Families Dalton
Family Support Council
Whitfield County
Q . What do you love most about your job?
Carla: Hearing the positive moments and accomplishments from my team about their families.
Lori: It works! I began my career working with families in the realm of intervention, but I’ve learned that anytime you can prevent a child from adverse experiences, we all win. 
Jennifer: Listening to the home visitors tell stories about their families and working with such a great team. I love meeting families and listening to them talk about their home visitor and how much the program has helped them accomplish goals.
Caroline: I love seeing the strength of the families we serve. Their strength, often in the face of so many challenges, is truly inspiring.  

Q. What does it mean to you to be a HFA Certified Peer Reviewer?
Carla: For me, it means growth. This enables me to have a 360 degree view on how other programs in other states put meaning and quality practice to the standards.
Lori:  It means the chance to learn from others as well as support sites as they work toward continuous quality improvement. Its an opportunity for me personally to let others see that change and progression toward better services can be achieved while also celebrating successes staff have already made.  
Jennifer: We are part of a community of peer reviewers and are able to meet other people doing the same work across the country and to continue to learn and provide better services within our site.
Caroline: Completing that challenging training was an accomplishment! Now that I am a HFA Certified Peer Reviewer, I feel that I can contribute to the (statewide) network, as well as the (national) network in a different way than I could solely in my role as HF Program Manager.  

Q. What are some ways you can benefit your program and other programs in the Healthy Families Georgia network as a Certified Peer Reviewer?
Carla: As a Certified Peer Reviewer, I can gain a host of information on how other programs put practice to the standards and share with my network. I can also share recommendations to help sites facilitate their own program’s progression.
Lori: By seeing variations of our program across the country, this exposure may give us a new vision of ways to support families. 
Jennifer: I feel more confident in what we need to do as a site. It will also give us an opportunity to visit other HF sites across the country and learn from them and see how other sites have addressed certain issues that we may be struggling with at our site.
Caroline: The HFA Peer Review training provides insight not just into the intent of the HFA Best Practice Standards, but also what peer reviewers specifically look for when scoring the standards. As a Certified Peer Reviewer, it is my hope that I, along with the other Certified Peer Reviewers within the HFG network, will be able to provide guidance as we continue to work collectively to ensure that our sites have the correct policies and procedures in place to guide us through the HFA accreditation/re-accreditation process.
Q. What unique qualities or skills do you bring to the role of a Peer Reviewer?
Carla: Knowing that people can accomplish the same goal with different techniques.
Lori: I believe that I bring empathy, compassion and humor. I’m empathetic to the supervisors and staff worrying about the site visit since I have "been there, done that". I’m compassionate to the families they support and want quality services for everyone. Finally, I believe that laughter and joy truly create a willingness and openness to learn, build and grow.
Jennifer: I have been involved in many changes throughout the years and am able to provide an understanding of the core of the program and updates that HFA makes to the standards. I have been through the accreditation process several times and can empathize with the site and hopefully put them at ease during their site visit and make the process an enjoyable experience.
Caroline: At the time I completed Peer Reviewer training, I had 18 years of experience with the HFA model, including as a Family Support Worker and Program Manager. Those years gave me an understanding of what it is like to implement the HFA model, day in and day out, and the challenge of completing the accreditation process. In addition, I am detail-oriented, and the peer review process requires great attention to detail.
Q. What is your personal philosophy or commitment to continuous quality improvement and how does this apply in your new role as a Peer Reviewer?
Carla: I personally have adapted the growth mindset with my commitment to continuous quality improvement. As a peer reviewer, this is the mind frame I will enter each site visit with. I am there to see the growth, strengths and positives of each individual site.
Lori : When I began working with Healthy Families here in Georgia someone said to me that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve held on to that advice and I personally believe that things change and sometimes those changes are positive and sometimes they just teach us something.
Jennifer: I personally believe that you are always learning and finding ways to improve the program and services. My goal is to provide a quality program to families and provide support to our staff. As a peer reviewer I am excited about the opportunity to learn from other sites and see how they have improved services or what ideas they have developed to help with certain standards such as engagement, retention
Caroline: Throughout my years with HF Dalton, we have identified areas of practice in which change is needed, gathered ideas for facilitating that change, tested those ideas, and implemented the ideas that work best to bring about the needed change. The HFA accreditation process incorporates continuous quality improvement practices, and the peer reviewer role allows for “outside” evaluation of the site’s continuous quality improvement efforts. In a sense, it’s a “fresh set of eyes” to affirm the site’s hard work, and identify any opportunities for on-going continuous quality improvement.
Q. What would you like to share that we may not know about you?
Carla: I am a Georgia implant by way of New York City. I moved to Georgia in 2008 to help my sister with my youngest nephew who was born with sickle cell anemia. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in July of 2016 and as of July 2017 he is now sickle cell free at age 10. His donor was is older brother, who was a perfect match.
Lori: My personal life centers around my husband, our two teenage daughters and our two dogs.
Jennifer: I am married and have 2 daughters. One is 18 and graduating high school this year. She is going on to play volleyball at Emmanuel College and study to be an athletic trainer. My other daughter is 16 and a freshman in high school and loves to dance, act, and play the flute.   
Caroline: I am married to my best friend, Todd. We have two sons, Ethan (19) and Asher (14). We recently said an unexpected and sad goodbye to our beloved dog, Otis. We have two cats, Milo and Cadbury, who, as cats do, tolerate us living in their home! 
Q. What are the greatest successes of your program? 
Carla: I think one huge success is the team we have. I have only had to hire one new person since we started the program in late 2015. All four of the home visitors are unique in personality, so they all have different approaches to family engagement. I embrace their differences to enhance our program. I try my best to keep their personalities and strengths in mind when it comes to placing families.
Lori: My teammates are the greatest success in our program. We believe in families, the community and the Healthy Families program model. 
Jennifer: Our staff – we have an amazing team of people! Also retention of staff, home visit completion rates, providing additional opportunities to support families and having great community partners.
Caroline: I believe the strength of our program lies within our staff. We have been fortunate to have longevity among our staff. Many of us have been here more than 10 years. The commitment to each other, the work we do, our program’s success haven’t faded with time. 
It is not surprising that Carla, Lori, Jennifer, and Caroline all named their staff as their greatest assets and we couldn't agree more. Meet some of these shining stars below.
Healthy Families Houston (from left to right): Sharon Medina, Blair Gamble, Kim Coxon, Jennifer Dockery, Shay Ross, and Carla Frye
Healthy Families of Coastal Georgia (from left to right): Shirley Gibbs, Dana Beckham, Allison Roderick, Linda Mincey, Elizabeth Ramirez, Marsha Mitchell, Shekinah Thompson, Sherry Young, Tammie Johnson, Lori Hatton
Prevent Child Abuse Athens Back row (from left to right): Wanda Whitehead, Annette Maynard, Jennifer Henderson, Grace Arthur, Dave Ernest. Middle row (from left to right): Regina Oglesby, Tiara Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Irma Cadle. Front row (from left to right): Erica Chastain, Monica Cruz, Adrian Hawkins, Lilis Deal, Tonya Cosby (not shown: Nicole Newton, Cathey Abernathy)
The mission of Healthy Families Georgia is to promote child well-being and prevent the abuse and neglect of children through the provision of quality, long-term, intensive home visitation services. The program is designed to strengthen nurturing parent-child relationships, promote healthy childhood growth and development and enhance family functioning. Please visit  www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org  or contact Paige Ferrell, Healthy Families Georgia State Coordinator, at  paigef@uga.edu for more information.
Do you know someone who belongs in the spotlight? We want to hear from you! Please contact Maggie Schmidt at mdschmidt@uga.edu .