The AMA program brings together the services provided through the MCH programs – mother and child health clinical services, breastfeeding, nutrition, immunization, dental health, infectious disease control, and CLE-CE education and screening – but also offers an ongoing and intensive psychosocial follow-up tailored to the needs of families. While some of these activities are delivered through the CMCs, others, especially the ones regarding the psychosocial follow-up, are done through outreach to families using, amongst other means, Home Visiting services. In addition, AMA intends to develop partnerships at the local, regional and provincial levels in order to favor a better coordination of existing services. Partnerships also allow complementing these services with the creation of new community based projects aiming to improving the living conditions of all families such as housing, education, employability, etc.
AMA’s main goal is to maximize the health and well-being of pregnant women, young children, and their families living in Eeyou Istchee by providing a complete network of health and social services. These services are to be grounded in Cree culture, values, and language, and rooted in family-friendly communities.
Why this program?
The early years are known to have the greatest impact on a child’s future health, growth, and development, with consequences that last a lifetime. This is a critical period in terms of development of parent-child relationships, family functioning, and cultural practices, that ultimately affect the physical and mental health of the child, the family, and the community as a whole.
Eeyou Istchee has a young and fast-growing population, which is a source of great wealth for the nation. However, young Cree parents today live in conditions that pose many challenges to their parenting abilities, and this situation is likely to present risks to children’s health and development. Hence, there is an urgent need for greater support for parents wishing to provide the best care possible for their children. Improving the health of families in Eeyou Istchee, however, is not just about providing health services: it also means helping parents to improve their living conditions, and building child-friendly communities. In sum, it is about recognizing the root causes of the current situation, and helping families as they come to terms with the effects of historical trauma. As health care workers, we need to understand the heritage of the families we serve, so that we can build mutually respectful relationships and provide genuine support through the journey of parenthood.
Short description of program
Based on a home visiting program for families living complex issues, AMA in an approach that aims to work with people so that they can improve their own situation. Through services that are early in life, continuous and intensive from pregnancy to school age, it seeks to reinforce parents’ existing strengths and skills in a respectful and caring manner. It also assists communities in their efforts to create the supportive structures they need to improve families’ living condition so that they can offer the loving and caring presence their children need most. AMA is being gradually implemented in the nine communities of Eeyou Istchee.
The main target group for this program is young families, with a focus on women throughout their pregnancy and perinatal period, on fathers and children from birth to age 9.
Who delivers the program?
AMA is part of the larger Awash Miyupimaatisiiun that delivers general services to families and young children. It is coordinated by:
[This position is currently vacant]
The coordination of the partnership and the community development of AMA is the mandate of: