Being a new parent can be overwhelming in the best of circumstances. For moms without a solid support system, the transition to motherhood can be daunting. In Prince George’s County, MD, Alyson Jacobson and her team at the Prince George’s Child Resource Center (PGCRC) are doing all that they can to support the young children in their community -- and our books are part of their strategy!
Building Family Connections
Prince George’s County Child Resource Center helps create healthy and nurturing environments for children by supporting their families and educating their caregivers.
Each year the Resource Center provides family support services to over 1,500 families and training to over 2,000 child care providers, parents and human services workers... potentially touching the lives of nearly half a million children since 1990.
The PGCRC uses the Family Connects model, a community program designed to support the health and well-being of all newborns and their families by offering home visits by a highly-trained registered nurse and connections to support resources families can access in their communities.
As the Director of Home Visiting Services, Jacobson oversees the logistics of the nurse home visits and makes sure they uphold the PGCRC’s mission of “helping create healthy and nurturing environments for children by supporting their families and educating their caregivers.”
Jacobson has been working with children of different age groups for almost all of her career. Knowing that the success of a child begins at birth and that you can’t support the child without supporting the family system around the child. She has progressively shifted to working with younger and younger-aged children. “Appreciating how important early attachment is has driven me to work with younger children,” says Jacobson.
Partnerships that Support Families
Through the Family Connects program, each new mother at the University of Maryland – Capital Region Health Hospital is given a “New Mom” bag full of goodies. The items inside vary, but may include lip balm, a mint and a pamphlet inviting new moms to contact PGCRC for nurse home visits. Also tucked in the bag is a copy of Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado, Platypus Media’s award-winning bilingual (E/Sp) children’s book celebrating the ways animal mothers care for their babies.
Beautiful images introduce the reader to attachment in the natural world. Watching mothers lend a paw, wing, flipper, or hand to care for their young fosters empathy, kindness, and compassion. “This book was perfect,” said Jacobson. “It shows how animal parents care and nurture their babies, modeling healthy attachment behaviors that promote feelings of trust and safety. Plus, a bilingual book allows us to connect with the county’s Hispanic population, which make up about 20% of our residents.”
The books were a gift from Prince George’s County, Maryland Councilwoman Jolene Ivey, who works hard to support local families and local businesses. She reached out to Platypus Media, a Washington, DC independent press, and arranged for the books to be included in the “new mom” bags. A mother of five, Councilwoman Ivey, serves on the board of Children’s Hospital and fights hard for the County’s education budget. She made addressing a disparity in funding for the Home Visiting Program a priority when she served as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and has brought additional funding to the Prince George’s County Child Resource Center.
Want to Support this Worthy Cause?
Programs such as the PGCRC can make a difference in creating healthy and nurturing communities. Jacobson encourages new parents, wherever they live, to reach out for local resources and support.
Expecting and new mothers in Prince George’s County, MD are invited to sign up for this wonderful Family Connects nurse home visit program.
Learn more about all the Platypus Media books designed to support mothers and families at PlatypusMedia.com. To find out how we can partner with your organization’s outreach efforts, contact Caitllin at Caitlin@PlatypusMedia.com.