Buckner Project HOPES celebrated its five-year anniversary serving parents in the Longview community and have announced it has been approved for another five years of funding. The state funded program started in September 2014 as an initiative with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention Division to serve children and families in at-risk situations.
“The year before we received the funding, Gregg County was ranked as the third highest in the state for being at risk teen pregnancy, early substance abuse and family violence, including child abuse,” said Project HOPES Director Michelle Heflin. “Those numbers are a big reason Buckner was awarded the program contract for the counties of Gregg, Upshur and Harrison.”
Project HOPES stands for Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support. The program supports parents and promotes healthy families, as Buckner staff provide encouragement and education for early childhood development via regular home visits and group meetings.
The program is intended to address child abuse and neglect prevention by focusing on community collaboration in high risk counties and by increasing protective factors of families served, thereby reducing the likelihood of abuse.
Buckner utilizes the Parents as Teachers Evidence-Based model. The model provides services to families with children from prenatal through kindergarten. Affiliates follow the essential requirements of the model, which provide minimum expectations for program design, infrastructure and service delivery. Parents as Teachers provides support for affiliates to meet those requirements as well as further quality standards that represent best practices in the field.
“We are excited to announce that Project HOPES will be able to serve the community for an additional five years,” added Heflin. “When families are strengthened and are mutually responsible for better outcomes for their children, that is the essence of the meaning of our slogan at Buckner International: ‘Hope Shines Here.’”
Project HOPES is one of the many programs offered by Buckner Northeast Texas in the Longview area. Each month, Project HOPES holds a Group Connect meeting for local parents and their families. To learn more about Project Hopes in Longview, call 903-757-9383.