Written by Caroline Doss (Wofford ’24)
Nicknamed “Sparkle City” , Spartanburg, South Carolina has grown exponentially in the last ten years with the emergence of downtown entertainment, restaurants, and shopping, as well as outdoor activities. However, while Spartanburg is indeed growing in its population of young families in the Upstate of South Carolina, its lack of accessible and affordable childcare has been a challenging problem in recent years. To address this issue, a group of driven, creative, and inspired individuals worked together to form Hello Family, which works to provide resources for parents and caregivers with children ages five and under. Hello Family recognizes that 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life and thus provides support to families in Spartanburg County through partnerships with national organizations. For example, Family Connects, Birth Matters, Triple P Positive Parenting Program, and Quality Counts prepare parents to be successful in their roles through the education of parenting skills, postpartum health information, helpful reminders, and new research about this vital time in their child’s life. Within the past year, 382 families in Spartanburg participated in Triple P, which offers support and resources to help parents be more confident in their roles as parents. 80.8% of these families have seen gains in their family’s functioning and resilience. This is just one of the many amazing programs Hello Family can recommend to families to boost child and family success.
While Hello Family’s connections and knowledge about the resources and opportunities available in Spartanburg County is valuable, it does not stop there. Hello Family’s hotline number (864) 606-9908, offers a network of non-judgmental and nuanced support for parents and caregivers. Isolation, postpartum depression, and feelings of inadequacy are extremely common in parents everywhere, and especially in places where there is a lack of childcare, like Spartanburg County. Many of Hello Family’s partners are parents themselves and can simply act as a free sounding board and listener to those in distress. Over the past year, 95 hotline connections were made with families that were provided with resources that they might not have otherwise received. While Hello Family staff can provide tangible resources such as postpartum information, medical transportation, childcare options, and ideas for activities, their commitment to kindness and compassion are what sets them apart. As Emily Glass, a Support Specialist at Hello Family explains, she loves to “help families get exactly what they need to help their children” and feels rewarded when she provides “tools like The Basics to boost brain development and get their children ready for school”. The importance of Hello Family’s work is unprecedented, and can make all the difference in the life of a child. It is vital that citizens of Spartanburg County and South Carolina as a whole continue to amplify the extraordinary work of these nonprofits and support Hello Family’s mission of providing a continuum of services for all children from prenatal care to age five.
Video by Carson Miller (Wofford ’24)