(Oklahoma City, OK) Parent Promise and INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center have started a program that provides new mothers in the hospital’s Women’s Center an opportunity to receive ongoing parent education and support once they return home with their newborn.
The goal of the new Right Track program is to provide an immediate introduction to home-based parent education and support to the families delivering at INTEGRIS Baptist who could benefit from parent-mentoring services. The program is free to patients and provided through grants from the Arnall Family Foundation and the INTEGRIS Foundation.
“This new concept is groundbreaking in Oklahoma City because it provides new moms an immediate introduction to valuable parenting information before they even leave the hospital and an opportunity to receive ongoing support immediately after,” said Sherry Fair, Parent Promise Executive Director. “The earlier we can begin working with vulnerable families, the better opportunity these families have to start on a path to parenting success.”
Parent Promise offers home-based support programs to assist parents in creating a loving, nurturing and safe home where children can grow, learn and play. Programs include age-appropriate activities and tools that promote healthy physical, emotional and social child development, as well as school readiness.
The Arnall Family Foundation is committed to working with partners like Parent Promise to protect and serve at-risk children and families, said Sue Ann Arnall, founder.
“Prevention services such as these are a critical piece of our community, and this innovative new program provides parents with immediate support and resources they need to create a positive home environment,” Arnall said.
The Women’s Center at INTEGRIS Baptist has been one of Parent Promise’s largest referral sources for several years, Fair said.
A parent educator is embedded in the hospital’s Women’s Center to introduce new families to in-home parent education and support services. Patients agree to receive a visit and care/resource package from the parent educator, and an appointment will be set up to make a home visit to that family within a couple of weeks of hospital dismissal.
“As social workers at the hospital, we understand how important it is to equip parents with all the resources and support we can,” said Melinda Campbell, MSW, LCSW with INTEGRIS Case Management. “There are many challenges parents face when taking a baby home. Two of our concerns after discharge are the development of postpartum depression and not following safe sleep recommendations. We understand how important in-home visitation and support is and how much of a difference it can make in the lives of our patients. Our INTEGRIS staff wants to reach as many families as possible who need these services as quickly as possible.”
Approximately 60 percent of babies born at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center are born into certain risk factors that could be challenging to new parents. These factors include poverty, single mothers and parents being unemployed or under-employed. Parent Promise works with families to help develop the bond between mother and child by stressing the importance of talking, reading and singing to the baby.
“Every positive outcome we want in our state begins with raising healthy and resilient children,” Fair said. “Parent Promise’s goal is to help strengthen families through parent education and support, and this program is a front-line effort in the direction of providing more nurturing homes and families, ensuring children are on a healthy track physically and emotionally and making sure kids are academically successful.”