By: Renetta Harrison | Category: Other | Issue: March 2008
Children’s First Nurses (L to R): Gena Maute, Enid Coffey, Tess Carroll, and Connie Cordray.
More than 1,250 families participating in the Children First Program will be receiving new cribs and car seats thanks to a grant provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) totaling over $75,500.
“We’re very excited about the Ronald McDonald House Charities Grant,” said Oklahoma State Department of Health Children First Program Director Mildred Ramsey. “It gives us the unique opportunity to provide necessary safety items without charge to families who might not otherwise be able to obtain them.”
The RMHC initiative, called Building a Better Infant Environment Safely (BABIES), provides essential safety and developmental items for children with limited resources in the national Nurse-Family Partnership Program (NFP). The grant monies for Oklahoma were used to purchase more than 600 portable cribs and 650 child safety seats to be distributed to Children First families throughout the state, including those receiving services through the Rogers County Health Department.
According to a recent study by the Children First Nurse-Family Partnership Program, infants who died in motor vehicle accidents or when sharing a bed with at least one parent accounted for 44 percent of preventable infant and child deaths.
“One of the main goals of our program is to work with families to create safer environments for their children,” said Mary Beth Murray, Rogers County Health Department Administrator. “Offering cribs and car seats to our families will help parents avoid putting their children at risk.”
The Children First Nurse-Family Partnership Program enrolls women who are less than 29 weeks pregnant with their first baby and the family’s income must fall within specific income requirements. The program provides home visits to the family until the child’s second birthday. Nurses provide health and developmental assessments, education and referrals, and support to families needing help to cope with the demands of caregiving, working or continuing their education.
The Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally recognized evidence-based prevention program that has been praised by the National Institute for Early Education Research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Surgeon General and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
For more information about the Children First Nurse-Family Partnership Program in your area, or to see if you qualify to enroll, contact the Rogers County Health Department at 341-3166.