Las Cumbres Community Services Early Childhood Programs

Confident Parenting team mem- bers observe during a collaborative family meeting.

Courtesy photo: Confident Parenting team members observe during a collaborative family meeting.

Wrap-around services for our youngest clients and their families

By Robyn Covelli-Hunt

Las Cumbres Community Services was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1971 and offers family-focused programs across five Northern New Mexico counties. In response to community needs, the agency now offers 18 distinct programs to support infant, early childhood, and youth services, parenting groups, fatherhood and grandparents raising grandchildren services, immigrant and refugee services, and programming for adults with developmental disabilities.  

For one newly arrived immigrant family, finding help when they first arrived in a new city was a challenge. Circumstances presented hurdles when they arrived with few personal possessions, speaking a foreign language, and traveling with an infant who was born prematurely.  

The Lopez family (surname changed) journeyed from Central America to New Mexico due to economic struggles in their home. They were referred to Las Cumbres through a collaborative partner who initially helped them access resources for diapers, formula, and other necessities for their baby.

The Lopez family first enrolled in the Las Cumbres’ Confident Parenting Home Visiting (CPHV) Program. Through the agency’s internal wraparound care model, two additional programs were quickly enlisted to support the family’s most pressing needs: The Community Based Prevention, Intervention, and Reunification program (CBPIR), and the Family Infant Toddler Early Intervention program (FIT/EI). Each program offered the family a bilingual provider to ensure their access to secure housing and food, address the baby’s developmental needs, and support their resilience amidst migration and acculturation stressors.

Bilingual and bicultural staff across Las Cumbres programs are skilled at working with families to build and strengthen relationships, especially those with young children. This is the foundational focus of all the agency’s services. Specifically, CPHV home visitors receive specialized training in evidence-based parenting curriculums, lactation consultation, and safe sleep practices. The team supporting the Lopez family worked together to build trust, first by connecting them to tangible items including winter-weather clothing and shoes, housing and food resources, medical care, and more. Emergency discretionary funds were leveraged to help purchase items for their apartment and other essentials.

Confident Parenting home visiting program<br />
manager Silvia Romero coaxes the child to interact and play.

Courtesy photo: Confident Parenting home visiting program manager Silvia Romero coaxes the child to interact and play.

Additionally, the home visitor introduced the family to important safety measures, such as the proper use of their car seat and stroller, and other regulations within the US that differed from their home country. Through the safety and security of the mother’s relationship with her Home Visitor, she built confidence to explore and access community resources such as Santa Fe Ride for transportation to medical and other appointments. In addition, the baby is putting on weight and becoming playful as he also feels reassured that his family is safe, cared for, and supported to meet his needs.  

The family’s CBPIR Navigator also met with the family weekly. This navigator focused on supporting the father, who was detained and joined the family after they initially enrolled in Las Cumbres services. Once the father joined his family, the navigator witnessed the infant become more expressive. CBPIR services focused on helping the family access resources and referrals that exceeded the scope of the Home Visiting Program. These include medical, counseling, and parenting class coordination, access to interpretation and translation services, rental assistance, and additional emergency funds. CBPIR families typically receive assistance for up to six months. This family, presenting needs for medical care, was referred to La Familia Medical Center where they will receive updated vaccines and a wellness check-up for the child. CBPIR Navigators are also accredited to provide the Circle of Security Parenting curriculum, aimed at strengthening parent-child relationships and increasing a child’s self-esteem.  

The family now has their own room in a safe multi-family home. There, the now 15-month-old is able to socialize with other young children, encouraging him to crawl and slowly pull up to stand and walk, a developmental milestone urged by the support of a third Las Cumbres program, Family Infant Toddler Early Intervention (FIT/EI).  

FIT/EI providers deliver specialized services to families with infants and toddlers up to age 3 who are at risk for developmental delays. Baby boy Lopez received an EI evaluation, revealing delays with his gross and fine motor skills. Fine motor skills include the child’s small muscle development and use of hands, for example, to manipulate objects around him. Gross motor skills focus on crawling and walking. Today, a FIT Family Service coordinator sees the family monthly and a developmental specialist sees them twice a month. Parents receive day-to-day strategies to work on, which include “tummy time” (to develop strength and neck muscles while also expanding the child’s vision perspective) and placing the infant in positions to promote crawling. Goals are outlined in an Individualized Family Service Plan (ISP) updated regularly with the family. The family learns additional developmental interventions during mealtime with mother modeling words and (serious and silly) facial expressions, and at bedtime by pointing to pictures in storybooks to support language development and bonding. Home Visiting hosts a monthly book club for its clients and other program families as well as the public. Monthly book selections are read in both Spanish and English and accompanied by a kid-friendly activity. Children are treated to a snack and given a book to take home with them to build their library.

Mother and son take a spin around the block together.

Courtesy photo: Mother and son take a spin around the block together.

Speaking to the ongoing interface between multiple program teams, the CBPIR Navigator explains that through regular jointly staffed meetings that include the family, there is real-time coordination of care. This allows for determining which program is best suited to address a particular concern while simultaneously identifying new barriers and immediately collaborating to find the best answers.

When asked about how the family is contributing to the community that they now call home, each navigator lit up. They described the mother who primarily works to cleans houses as “not sitting around and waiting for anything to just come to her,” but that she is busy with other engagements. As a skilled Mayan weaver, she hopes to access materials soon so she can produce and sell her exquisite tapestry. Her current endeavors include caring for others’ children and preparing and distributing traditional food—a hearty lunch of chicken desebrada (shredded beef), potatoes, salad, yellow rice, and bread. As she has been nourished by this agency and the community, so too does she nourish those around her.

To find out more about Las Cumbres Programs, visit their website at To view infant and early childhood programs, visit

Mother engages with her son.

Courtesy photo: Mother engages with her son.

Robyn Covelli-Hunt is the director of development and communications at Las Cumbres Community Services. She has worked with the agency for 18 years doing outreach and securing funding for the organization’s Child and Family as well as Adult Service programs. She boastfully acknowledges the exceptional teamwork at the organization’s core assuring that all families connect and thrive in their community.


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