Giving vulnerable parents of newborns the support that they need to thrive
Bringing a baby into your life is one of the most exciting, happiest events that can happen to a family. But it can also be a time of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. If a family is fortunate, they have a support system in place before the baby comes home. Friends to visit in the hospital, family members to come and offer help day to day, a church community to pray and drop by with meals, diapers and words of encouragement.
Sadly, this is not the case for all families. Some new parents live far away from family or lack strong connections to a supportive community. Some relationships are broken and as a result, are unable to celebrate and support a young mother. It is in these moments Safe Families for Children of Lane County is hoping to step in with the Parent Partner program.
The Parent Partner program is in place to make a real difference in the life of a new parent and their baby and help strengthen families across Lane County. Support for new parents directly benefits the baby’s physical, mental, and emotional development and provides resources for the new parent during these early stages of the baby’s development
The intent of the Parent Partner program is to help relieve social isolation by building relationships and creating a supportive community around the new parent.
A Parent Partner volunteer offers support and encouragement to a new, vulnerable parent and their baby in a variety of ways:
Your personal knowledge and experiences are extremely valuable and can be a gift that can greatly benefit a parent who might feel overwhelmed and isolated.
The heart of our program is to connect you as a volunteer Mentor with a vulnerable parent to create extended family-like support which allows her to love her baby to the best of her ability and strengthen her family.
Parent Partners also help the new parent by playing with the babies, helping them move and connect. Just making eye contact with the baby or fun conversation by playing peekaboo is vital to brain development.
-You are paired with a parent for one year
-You commit to weekly check-ins over the phone
-You visit twice a month
-You provide encouragement
“It is so rewarding to be able to check-in with this mom over the phone, and listen to the things she is currently struggling with, or whatever fears or joys she is experiencing with her new baby. She doesn’t have many people in her life, so it is very meaningful to walk alongside her, and help care for her and the newborn. I think that it has been so comforting for her to know that she is not alone.”
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(You can help change the community by simply knowing that this program exists)