Minding the Baby® (MTB), a Yale-led community program that helps at-risk young families form healthy bonds with their infants, is poised to become a self-sustaining model that can be replicated in communities nationwide, thanks to a new $55,000 grant from the Donaghue Foundation.
When MTB demonstrated success on the local level in New Haven, Dr. Linda Mayes, — who leads the program with Lois Sadler at Yale School of Nursing, and Arietta Slade and Nancy Close at the Yale Child Study Center — envisioned that it could not only be sustained to provide lasting benefits to generations of community families, but also that it could be replicated in communities throughout the country.
“The goal is to turn Minding the Baby into an intensive intervention/prevention home-visiting model for mothers and their infants,” said Mayes, the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center. “This is an investment in using business models to help grassroots community programs like MTB continue to have a sustained impact.”
The Donaghue Foundation helped provide original support for the program, and this new award will help the MTB team build a sustainable and replicable version of the MTB program that can be implemented at the local and state level, and develop resources for training and consultation in the MTB model. The new award also adds business and social marketing consultants to the MTB team.
The MTB program has helped young mothers and their babies in New Haven since 2002. The interdisciplinary program collaborates with the Fair Haven Community Health Center and the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center to follow young mothers, between age 14 and 25 from their third trimester of pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. The program provides a home visiting team of a pediatric nurse practitioner and licensed clinical social worker for each family. The home visitors assess, coach, and educate parents about the skills and strategies that can lead to healthy physical and mental outcomes for families.
MTB clinicians provide direct service for young families while MTB researchers conduct ongoing research with both participants and control families. MTB has been evaluated in a randomized control design supported by the National Institutes of Health and several other foundations.
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