‘Great Expectations’ for the former Family Visitor Programs with name change, new support services | PostIndependent.com

‘Great Expectations’ for the former Family Visitor Programs with name change, new support services

After almost 40 years as the Family Visitor Programs, the Glenwood Springs-based nonprofit organization serving parents of newborns and toddlers is undergoing a name change.

The new name — Great Expectations — embraces a change for the organization as it expands to offer parenting support groups this summer with funding from the national program Circle of Parents, Executive Director Andrew Romanoff said.

“Family Visitor has served us well, but as we expand beyond our home visiting services we wanted a name that reflects a broader scope,” Romanoff said.

The name change and information about the forthcoming new parenting groups and other programs, and how to donate to support them, comes with a new website, too.

“We surveyed our clients a couple of months ago, and, in addition to saying they would recommend our family visitor services to other families, they also asked what we could do beyond those home visits to help young families,” Romanoff said.

Circle of Parents is providing a multi-year grant to help organize support groups in Garfield, Pitkin and western Eagle counties, tapping into the knowledge that parents themselves can share with others.

Great Expectations also aims to raise $16,000 this month in support of the effort.

Similarly, area schools, through their Family Resource Centers, offer support group programs for parents of older, school-aged children.

“Our target is the new parents of children under the age of 3, which has a special set of challenges,” Romanoff said.

In addition to the new support groups, the organization is hiring new staff to expand its family visitor and childrens’ health services, including two nurses and two additional home visitors.

“All of them, like most of our new employees, are bilingual,” Romanoff said. “We want to build a team that reflects the community we serve.”

Romanoff is also bilingual in English and Spanish, and the organization’s board of directors now includes six Latina members.

With the expanded services, Great Expectations has a goal to increase the number of families it serves in the region by 50%. The Family Visitor Programs served 250 families in 2021, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Romanoff noted.

“As with everything we do, the new parent support groups will be free to the families we serve,” he said.

Last year, Great Expectations also launched a new tuition assistance loan program as a way to attract new nurses. Some of the new hires are recent Colorado Mountain College nursing program graduates, and other staff have used the loan program to continue their educations in other areas, Romanoff said.

Details of the new parenting support groups will be announced this summer when the program is rolled out, he said.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.