Imprints Cares Empowering parents

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program This might include parents who are receiving medicaid single parents teen parents recent immigrants or. victims of abuse They reach those parents through partnerships with local pediatric practices including Wake. Forest Baptist Health System s Downtown Health Clinic in Winston Salem. By co locating family educators at the practices Imprints Cares is able to supplement the care given to children and. the support provided to their parents, We feel like we have developed a relationship over time with the Downtown Health Clinic said Byers The. director Robert Jones has let us be on site there and over time I feel we have proven to be a really good partner. By co locating their services within large pediatric practices the organization gains parents trust when a doctor can. recommend one of their family educators who is located onsite just down the hall. Parents consider their pediatricians to be the foremost expert Byers said So it was a great entry point for us. because in a way it gives us validity because they already trust their pediatrician. The co located model also bene ts the clinics where they are located Physicians who often see dozens of patients. in a single day can refer parents to the on site Imprints Cares sta person for a more in depth visitation. We have a complementary set of information to give the parents and we also can spend more time talking about. sleep issues or discipline issues whereas the physician is more focused on the physical health Byers said That s. one of the things we have seen over the period that we have been there is what a great partnership we are and. how we can more e ectively serve the families together And I think we have really garnered a lot of respect from. the pediatricians We feel real proud of that, They see hundreds of patients a day and they only get to see them for 10 15 minutes each said Jenna Delgado. an Imprints Care family educator Delgado points out that visits to pediatricians are more frequent in the rst year of. a child s life but typically only occur once a year afterward That makes it easy for some children to fall through the. cracks and for certain developmental delays to be missed. When the doctor is going through their checklist asking Do you think anything is wrong Do you think they are. talking well Do you think they see well The parents lots of time don t know any better because they are rst time. parents and they don t have anything to compare it to. New parents may not be able to notice the signs of delay and may not communicate those concerns to their child s. And then they don t get the help that they need Delgado said. If the doctors notice something they will refer them to us And then we do the developmental evaluations to see if. they are where they should be And if the parent is interested we do the home visitations. In addition to the co location of services at the Downtown Health Clinic Imprints Cares also works with the Winston. East Pediatrics and Westgate Pediatrics to co locate services. But those are not the only way families can get help. We will take referrals from any avenue Byers said Imprints Cares gets referrals from a variety of local agencies. and nonpro ts including the Department of Social Services the school system and Amos Cottage a local nonpro t. that assists children with developmental delays, The Imprints Cares model also di ers from other child and family support programs by the range of ages it serves. Many services here in Winston Salem may serve birth to two Byers said For instance Nurse Family Partnership. serves children birth to two but we serve birth to ve So oftentimes when they graduate from Nurse Family. Partnership they would be referred to us, And many programs in the community work with children birth to three Byers said There seems to be a scarcity of. resources from ages three to ve So we are able to ll that in terms of parenting We are able to be that parenting. support for those ages We do get a lot of referrals when programs stop at three or two. We ve nally been around long enough that I think we are being recognized as that premier agency on parenting. education and support Byers said, The service the organization provides to families extends beyond the walls of the pediatric practice Once a family.
has been referred to the co located representative they are asked if they would be interested in working with a. family education consultant to set up ongoing home visits These visits are a deep dive into practices to better. prepare a parent s child for the start of school and to give parents the skills they need to nurture their child s. development, How we really help the families is with our intensive home visitations Byers said That is the focus of our work. with the parents of children birth to ve, We nd the home is the most e ective place to work with parents. They all the sudden start seeing parenting as this real job and this real role said Byers And they become very. empowered to be these leaders in their own families That s what we love to see happen. It is through a strong ongoing relationship with their family educator that parents learn the skills they need to be the. best parent they can be, When we go there to the home we bring developmental information that is age appropriate for the child in the. home said Mita Lambe who has worked as a family educator at Imprints Cares for more than 10 years We do an. activity when we go there During the activity we interact with the child and with the parent We model doing the. activity and encourage the family to continue doing that activity during the next two weeks. The organization s family educators meet with their families twice a month and though they come prepared and. focused on helping the child reach his or her developmental milestones they also adapt their support to whatever. the parent or child might need at any given visit, We meet them where they are Lambe said If there is an issue then we adjust and we talk and listen to that. parent and help them with whatever that issue is, I have 20 families that I serve and each day I have between two and four home visits depending upon the.
availability of the families said Family Educator Jenna Delgado I plan the home visit depending upon the number. of kids and the milestones they are at and their developmental domain. Delgado sees her role as being a support not only for the child but for the parents as well. At each visit we talk about the family how they are doing because not only are we working with them to help with. their development of their children we are also a support system for the parents Delgado said And a lot of these. families have no support from even their own families So we are someone to help them gure out how to reenroll. in school or stay motivated to keep working at a job they don t like just telling them that they are doing a good job. and being a good mother, One of the most important lessons the family educators try to instill in their parents are the bene ts of active reading. with a child At each visit educators bring books and will remind parents of how important it is to read to their. children as early and frequently as possible, A lot of the time the families I work with the parents are high school dropouts or they themselves don t read very. much and when they are reading they aren t really engaging or interacting with the kids Delgado said. The family educators take time to model for parents how to interact with a child when reading a book. I m sitting on the oor with the kids getting excited asking them questions asking them about the pictures. Delgado said If I can tell they are not really engaged in the story or if they are getting bored I will make something. up that will get them excited, But at the core of all the activities and at the heart of the family educator message is active and ongoing parent. involvement and interaction with their child, We also do a parent child interaction activity Delgado said In that activity we are working in one of the. developmental domains like ne motor skills language cognitive social or emotional and whichever one we do. we focus on that For example I was working with a child who didn t have good ne motor skills We would practice. cutting playing with play dough practice drawing and I would bring those activities based on where their delays. The educators adjust which activities and materials they bring to a visit based on where the child is at in her. developmental domain That might mean materials to help with reading or playing games that help with language or. that even strengthen the muscles in the mouth, But whatever the excercise it involves both the parent and the child.
We do the activities together with the parents and bring handouts about the research behind it Delgado said. The materials are a resource the parents can use giving step by step instructions on how to practice with their child. the activity the educator modeled for them at the visit. I always tell them it s their homework to do the activity everyday until our next visit so they will keep practicing and. keep building those skills Delgado said, The family educators are sensitive to the challenges their parents are facing outside the home that might tax their. ability to be the parents they aspire to be, They have such big goals and they want to do so much and they want to turn their lives around for their children. Delgado said But they drop out of school and they are working more than 40 hours a week in a minimum wage. job and they just can t make ends meet and they want to go to school It s really hard for them to go to school And. even if they are going online or at night it s di cult to stay committed and motivated And when they get home at. night they are tired and have to take care of a kid who they haven t see all day So they are acting out It s hard. Delgado says a lot of the parents she serves works more than one job And many are single parents and very. young She says most of the families she works with are under the age of 20. Ask anyone at Imprints Cares and they will tell you their parents only want what s best for their children However. the day to day demands of meeting basic needs while balancing school or multiple jobs can mean less time for. quality parent child interaction, Most the families we work with are in the high risk category Lambe said They are parents that have to work. di erent shifts two jobs sometimes So time is a big obstacle. The family educators work with their parents to help them nd time in the day to sit down and read with their child. They reinforce the long lasting bene ts that even small increments of positive interaction can have on a child s. development, We try to help them give that time just 15 minutes with a child to play with them to read with them To start that. interaction and that communication at that early age Lambe said. We all as parents want to do the best for our children Lambe said I think the families we serve also want to be the. best parents but they may not have the tools and that s when we bring information for them to use It is as simple. as playing with the child but some parents don t realize that playing with the child is preparing them for school. Just to come and remind to reinforce to empower parents that just by playing with their child by reading to them. by talking with them they are preparing their child for school. And sometimes the best support is just a reminder that they are in fact good parents It s the emotional support they. may not receive elsewhere, A lot of times they are already doing that but they don t feel that they are good enough Lambe said.
Monica My family educator is like a friend, I became aware of Imprints Cares at a prenatal checkup at the Downtown Health Plaza said Monica Douglas a. mother of two I saw a ier and I wanted to get to know a group of moms that were pregnant like me I was three. months pregnant with my youngest and my oldest was in preschool So I actually got help on both sides of the. spectrum with prenatal health and early childhood health I called them and then set up a visit My family educator is. like a friend, Douglas appreciates the extra lengths her family educator goes to support her family s needs Even though Douglas. is a trained early childhood educator she still nds herself learning new things. One of the things I like is she sets goals for me as an individual and then for my child Douglas said We go over. the developmental stages for the child for each developmental milestone And my background is early childhood so. being able to see that makes me feel a little more at ease as a parent knowing that I am doing what I am suppose to. be doing as a parent It lets me know what I need to work on at home with her. Douglas has seen the impact the home visitations have had on her children. For my oldest they did her testing for readiness Douglas said She s been highly academically gifted since. kindergarten, Her youngest has been tested as well and is considered ready for kindergarten at age three. I can look at that and it makes me feel good as a parent that I am doing what I am suppose to be doing Douglas. said And they could see that and if I weren t doing what I should be doing they would get me help. Though health issues currently prevent her from working in the childhood eld she nds the interaction with the. Imprints Cares team is a way to keep her updated on her early childhood training. It s like a refresher course Book knowledge is not the same as hands on knowledge I read things about parenting. Imprints Cares works with parents considered high risk who meet any number of criteria for inclusion into the 1 8 program This might include parents who are receiving medicaid single parents teen parents recent immigrants or victims of abuse They reach those parents through partnerships with local pediatric practices including Wake Forest Baptist Health System s Downtown Health

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