Prospect Park (now called Whitehall Place) is a large apartment community of about 1,200 units located in Whitehall Borough. Just over half of these units are occupied by families of non-American origin, including refugee and immigrant families. SHIM’s Prospect Park Family Center was established in February 2007 through funding from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
The Family Center is free to all families living in Prospect Park, focusing primarily on families with children ages 0 – 5 years. The Family Center provides home visits, child development screenings, group activities, and referrals to families in need. The home visits provided by the program staff aim to secure healthy development and appropriate health care for children. Effective parenting is another goal at the center. The staff uses the Ages and Stages screening tool and the Parents As Teachers curriculum to assist parents in adapting to the United States and local schools, and to assess children. Family Development Specialists work with the families by offering activities and information that promote child development.
The Family Center also provides field trips, monthly family fun nights, guest speakers on issues such as health and safety, and a weekly Family Group. These activities allow families to spend time together, foster community, and provide opportunities for English language development.