Healthy Families America® is a nationally recognized
evidence-based home visiting program model
designed to work with overburdened families
who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences,
including child maltreatment.

Healthy Families America® (HFA) is a nationally recognized evidence-based home visiting program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment. It is the primary home visiting model best equipped to work with families who may have histories of trauma, intimate partner violence, mental health and/or substance abuse issues. HFA services begin prenatally or right after the birth of a baby and are offered voluntarily, intensively and over the long-term (3 to 5 years after the birth of the baby).

The HFA model, developed in 1992 by Prevent Child Abuse America, is based upon 12 Critical Elements derived from more than 30 years of research to ensure programs are effective in working with families. These Critical Elements are operationalized through a series of best practice standards that provide a solid structure for quality yet offer programs the flexibility to design services specifically to meet the unique needs of families and communities. Model fidelity is illustrated through a comprehensive accreditation process.  Currently there are nearly 700 affiliated HFA program sites in 40 States, DC, all five US territories: Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Commonwealth of the Marianas, the American Samoa and Canada.

HFA has a strong research base which includes randomized control trials and well designed quasi-experimental research. To date, research and evaluation indicates impressive outcomes. Reviews of more than 15 evaluation studies of HFA programs in 12 states produced the following outcomes:

  • Reduced child maltreatment

  • Increased utilization of prenatal care and decreased pre-term, low weight babies
  • Improved parent-child interaction and school readiness
  • Decreased dependency on welfare, or TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and other social services
  • Increased access to primary care medical services
  • Increased immunization rates

For more information, visit www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org.

Every 3 seconds, somewhere in the world, a baby is born.
By the end of age two, the average baby has been changed 7,300 times.
Children laugh on average 300 times a day!


We have been providing quality services since May of 2012.  Our home visitors use evidence-based curricula.  Our primary curriculum is Growing Great Kids by Great Kids, Inc. in addition to numerous supplemental curricula. We offer a wide range of resources on specific parenting topics and all of our staff are intensively trained in a variety of social and developmental areas (including but not limited to: Maternal Depression, Substance Abuse, Infant and Toddler Development, Car Seat Safety).

Blue Ridge Healthy Families is funded by the Department of Public Health through Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting funds, and the Amy Wellness Foundation.

Additionally, funding for this program was provided by The Yancey Fund and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Yancey Fund is an endowment created to support the charitable needs of our community. The Yancey Fund is an affiliate of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina that inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitated $18 million in charitable giving last year. More information can be found at www.cfwnc.org.



BRHF is a true collaborative effort between many agencies in the service area. BRHF is a program of the Toe River Health District and the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children. The BRHF Leadership Team is blessed to have the expertise of many of the leaders innovating change for families in Mitchell, Yancey, and Avery Counties. Mark Ownbey is the NC HFA MIECHV State Consultant.



Our employees are the heart of Blue Ridge Healthy Families.
We would love the opportunity to know you more!


Program Director & Administrator

Nickey is the BRHF Program Director at the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children. She has served in that role since 2012 when the program first began implementation. Nickey has served in a variety of leadership roles including serving as the Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Toe River. Nickey is most recently a stage IV breast cancer survivor/thriver and is married with 1 son. She enjoys travel, her 5 pets, and being a part of a women’s drama ministry called Sprig of Joy.

O: 828-682-0047
C: 828-467-0909

P.O. Box 1387
Burnsville, NC 28714


Lead Family Support Specialist

Autumn Snyder is originally from the Tri-County area. Autumn Graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a double major in Human Services and Religion. Autumn has been a part of Blue Ridge Healthy Families since 2015. Autumn enjoys spending time with her family. She cherishes her calling to motherhood and has a sweet little boy and a loving daughter.

C: 828-208-3929
O: 828-682-1958
202 Medical Campus Drive
Burnsville, NC 28714


Data and Program Support Specialist

Katie joined the BRHF team in June of 2017 as the Program Support Specialist and Data Coordinator. She grew up in the mountains of NC and has a background in childcare as a teacher, center director, and in-home childcare provider. Katie is married with two sons and a daughter. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and all types of music!

P.O. Box 1387
Burnsville, NC 28714


Family Support Worker

Sonya is from the Blue Ridge and continues to enjoy residing in the beauty and serenity of the mountains. Before her career in human services Sonya studied photography which stemmed from her interest in fine arts. During involvement in a photographic project called Campaigns for Kids she became interested in pursuing a degree in Human Services and proceeded to study at Gardner-Webb University. Sonya has two terrific daughters and an endearing cat. In her free time she enjoys being surrounded by nature, reading, and attending plays. Grateful for her involvement in such an invaluable program, Sonya continually strives to seek personal growth in order to better serve and enrich the lives of others.

O: 828-682-1957
C: 828-208-3158
F: 828-682-5992


By the time a family graduates from the program, they will have at least...

120 Instructional Hours

By the time a family graduates from the BRHF they will have at least 120 instructional hours of parenting education. That is equivalent to an associates degree in parenting! Not everyone can say that!


Families and program participants get to do fun things like...


Families and program participants get to do fun things like cookouts, canning and crockpot cooking! Contact us today to get more information and to join in on the fun.


Blue Ridge Healthy Families is an accredited chapter of the...


Blue Ridge Healthy Families is an accredited chapter of the Healthy Families Association  National Network.  We obtained our accreditation on our first try!


BRHF is the only community-based program in this region that...


BRHF is the only community based program in this region that supports families with comprehensive, intensive and tailored services in their home. Contact us today!