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Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

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The Parent Connection

About the Program

Mission: To provide outstanding, compassionate patient-centered care, educate mentors, and support new parents to improve adjustment to parenting.

Values: Integrity, respect, compassion, excellence, innovation, diversity, collaboration and transparency.

Goals:

  • Support parent’s adjustment to parenting during the prenatal and postpartum period by providing emotional support and education.
  • Link families to both medical center and community-based resources.
  • Early identification of postpartum mood disorders and referral to appropriate treatment.
  • Encourage a long lasting relationship between patients and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Population Served

Format: Mentoring Moms: volunteers provide 1:1 support through weekly phone call support

Setting: Healthcare

People served: First time parents who deliver at BIDMC; any first time parent in the community with a baby age 0-1yr

Program location: Boston, MA, and surrounding communities

Estimated number served: Since our start in 1999, we’ve served over 10,000 families. In 2015, we have served a total of 650 families.

People in the Program

One full-time Program Manager who is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker ( LICSW); 1 part-time Program Coordinator (LICSW); 40 volunteer mentors

Recruitment & selection: Mentors are typically prior program “graduates”, and are recruited via a program evaluation process.

Motivation: Volunteers have ready access to program staff for identifying resources, or reviewing a challenging situation or encounter.

Sustaining the Program

Key strategies: Consistent and regularly available support to our mentors as provided by LICSW clinicians.

Critical support: Financial support and commitment by the OB/GYN department; BIDMC Social Work Department

Marketing/Communication strategies: We provide opportunities for mentors to support each other and forums that allow peer supervision.

Quality control: We solicit feedback from our mentees and group attendees and share that information directly with our volunteers.

Challenges and Solutions

Mentors become discouraged when mentees do not respond to the mentor’s efforts to connect: If after 2 weeks the new mom has not responded (4 attempts at contact have been made via voicemail and email), the patient is closed out and removed from the program.

Volunteer turnover: Volunteer commitment period is explained at the point of initial contact with a potential volunteer.

Contact Us

For more information, contact:
Christine Sweeney
Phone: 617-667-BABY (2229)
Email: csweeney@bidmc.harvard.edu

Website: www.bidmc.org/parentconnection