Monthly Archives: March 2010

Helping First-Time Parents Succeed

Guilford Legislative Delegation Meets to Discuss Home-Visiting Program

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Today Guilford County legislators and Guilford Child Development Executive Director C. Robin Britt hosted a roundtable event to discuss how Nurse-Family Partnership children in the community and across the state. NFP is a nationally recognized, evidence-based nurse home visitation program currently operating in 10 North Carolina counties, including Guilford. First implemented in 2000,Guilford County has the longest running site in North Carolina.

“I am proud of the impact our site has made on the community during the last 10 years, as well as the hard work of our nurses that makes it all possible,” said Britt. “This program not only benefits the families we serve, but our entire community. As a member of the Nurse-Family Partnership National Board, I can attest to the fact that NFP is changing lives across the country.”

During the roundtable, participants heard program updates from NFP National Service Office representatives and Guilford County’s nurse supervisor. A NFP nurse and one of the site’s enrolled mothers shared with the group their personal experience with NFP.

First-time mothers enrolled in NFP meet with a registered nurse early in pregnancy and home visits continue through the child’s second birthday. Registered nurses visit weekly for the first month after enrollment and then every other week until the baby is born. Visits resume to weekly for the next six weeks after the baby is born to help mom transition into her new role,
and then decrease to every other week until the child is 21 months old. The last three visits are monthly until the child is two years old.

“Many of our clients come to us as vulnerable teenagers whose circumstances and inexperience put them and their babies at risk,” said Suzanne White, Guilford County nurse supervisor. “Thework of our nurses decreases the risks dramatically by educating and empowering mothers to be self-sufficient. Nothing brings me more joy than to see our clients become confident parents
with healthy families and good prospects for education and employment.”

Since implementing the program 10 years ago, the Guilford County NFP site has enrolled 451 mothers and conducted almost 9,500 home visits. Some positive Guilford County NFPoutcomes include:

Reducing maternal cigarette smoking by 18 percent by 36 weeks gestation.  

 Only 9 percent of NFP infants are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, which is 5 percent lower than the NFP national average of 14 percent. 

Program participants’ low birth weight rate is currently at 8.8 percent, which is lower than North Carolina’s rate of 9.12 percent and the NFP national average of 9.3 percent. 

North Carolina NFP is supported by a public-private partnership that includes The Duke Endowment, The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NorthCarolina Foundation, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.

“As clinical trials have shown, the positive lifestyle changes encouraged by Nurse-Family Partnership benefit families and communities long after the program ends,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president of Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and NC NFP co-chair. “For this reason,our partnership is committed to seeing this program thrive across North Carolina, exactly as it is
doing here in Guilford County.”

In addition to Guilford County, the NFP program serves parents and children in Buncombe,Wake, Pitt, Cleveland, Mecklenburg, Rutherford, Polk, McDowell and Robeson counties. The North Carolina NFP, working in tandem with the NFP National Service Office, is dedicated tosustaining and expanding the program to additional counties in the state.

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Calling all Knitters!

Calling all Knitters to help knit PURPLE Baby Caps for April!

Please share your knitting or crocheting skills to help Keep Babies Safe in North Carolina. The Period of PURPLE Crying wants to give a gift of a PURPLE newborn baby cap to give every baby born in North Carolina during Week of the Young Child and Prevent Child Abuse Awareness (April 11 – April 17).

Unite and lend your hands now to knit or crochet PURPLE newborn baby caps for this great cause. Create as many as you like – from five to 50, or any number in between, using any newborn baby cap pattern, and any color of soft, baby-friendly PURPLE yarn. Please spread the word to all those you know who knit and encourage them to also start knitting now!

By knitting and sending PURPLE newborn baby caps to be given to infants across the state, you will make a difference as you:

  • Lend your hands to raise awareness about a life-saving project – the Period of PURPLE Crying: Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina – that promotes crucial parenting skills, infant/parent bonding, and understanding of a typical early infancy stage that every baby goes through which is frequently misunderstood.
  • Participate in a growing, statewide grassroots effort to educate new parents about the normalcy of early infant crying and how to cope with the frustration that can accompany it. Assist in promoting the Period of PURPLE Crying: Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina so that parents (and all others) learn to understand normal increased early infant crying and that crying is a key trigger to shaking.

The Period of PURPLE Crying: Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina is the largest and most comprehensive Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention project in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.purplecryingnc.info – become a fan on Facebook , follow us on Twitter @PurpleCryingNC.

Please Note: If you are already part of this project through the NC Hospital Volunteers (NCHV) or as a volunteer at your participating hospital, please deliver your PURPLE newborn baby caps to the hospital for which you volunteer.  For all other knitters not associated with any hospital or hospital volunteer group, please knit and mail your PURPLE newborn baby caps to:

Jill Hammergren
The Period of PURPLE Crying at APT
1316 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1316

For questions and more information, please contact:
Jane Royall
jroyall@purplecrying.info
919-733-6341

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Legislative Committee to Examine Corporal Punishment for Students with Disabilities

 What: A Presentation on Why Students with Disabilities Should Be Exempted from Corporal Punishment in the Public Schools

 Who:  Tom Vitaglione, Senior Fellow, Action for Children and Sheri Strickland, President, N.C. Association of Educators

Where: Education Legislative Oversight Committee, Room 643, Legislative Office Building, Raleigh

When:  March 10 at approximately 9:30 a.m.

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Access to Quality Child Care and Family Support Programs Voted Among Top Priorities for Young Children in Eastern North Carolina

Access to high-quality child care, support for families, availability of programs and services to meet basic needs, and collaboration among community organizations were voted the top priorities that would make the greatest, lasting impact on the lives of young children in eastern North Carolina. The voting took place at the “Smart Investing: Communities Thrive When Children Thrive” summit in Greenville on March 2. More than 200 community members from eastern North Carolina determined that these are the primary issues community groups and policymakers should focus on to improve the lives of young children. The group also brainstormed action steps to make the priorities a reality locally.

Tuesday’s summit reconvened delegates from eastern counties who are part of the Smart Investing public engagement initiative. Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and with support from Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and Smart Start, Smart Investing: Communities Thrive When Children Thrive, brings together a diverse mix of citizens in communities throughout the state to determine how best to invest in children birth to five, and thereby the state as a whole.

The final votes reflect work that began last fall when Smart Start’s 77 partnerships leveraged their networks to assemble delegations of local parents, business leaders, health care providers, education professionals and policy makers representing every county. The delegations created a list of top priorities at local forums held across the state. Tuesday, participants were asked to narrow down the list to the top four priorities that if given time, attention, and resources by individuals, community, and government, would make the greatest lasting impact on preparing young children to become productive, healthy, and fully-engaged adults.

To learn more about this initiative, visit http://www.smartinvestingnc.org.

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Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton Welcomes Delegates to Smart Start Summit in Greenville

 Summit Will Determine Highest Priorities for Youngest North Carolinians

Lt. Governor Walter Dalton will welcome more than 200 community members from eastern North Carolina at the “Smart Investing” summit in Greenville on Tuesday, March 2nd. The summit focuses on the importance of investing in early educational development and health programs for young children (ages 0-5). The attendants will be voting on the top priorities for state policymakers to consider regarding these critical investments.

Part of a public engagement initiative funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and with support from Smart Start, “Smart Investing: Communities Thrive When Children Thrive,” brings together a diverse mix of citizens in communities throughout the state to determine how best to invest in North Carolina’s youngest citizens. Lt. Governor is serving as the initiative’s statewide spokesperson. His remarks will underscore the summit theme: an investment of public and private dollars in enhancing childhood development is ultimately an investment in economic growth.

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