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As early as the 1980s the Children’s Bureau had identified the increased number of infant deaths in the African American community,and began a campaign to raise awareness in the community. We continued with a tour of the facility before I met with Heather Wildrick-Holman, an Early Intervention Educator and Trainer. Wildrick-Holman guided me through the current Children’s Bureau and the services they offer. Some of these services include a home visit program to assess how a family currently functions, and addresses education needs to enhance that functioning. In order to prevent child abuse and neglect before it begins, we must provide education for families on parenting skills. If parents get too overwhelmed and feel as those they are in danger of hurting their child, the Children’s Bureau offers respite care. This is a program that allows the parent to arrange to have the child stay in a “camp” environment the Children’s Bureau has created. The timeline for these visits can range from hours to days. Wildrick-Holman notes the largest issues facing the program, is that it identifying those in need. The Children’s Bureau depends on other community agencies toadvertise their services, and refer families. Child abuse and neglect are not the only issues facing infants. Suffocation claims so many infants, that this subject is coming up in many interviews. While speaking with Erica Short, MSW, in what I expected to be a child abuse conversation, safe sleep and education became the focus of the interview. This led to identifying other community resources that are also dealing with this subject. Dr. Kimberly Schneider is spearheading a program at Riley Hospital to increase safe sleep in the hospital in order to increase safe sleep at home. Schneider has hypothesized that parents will mimic what they see professionals do. Therefore, in August of
Running Head: COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT11this year a program was rolled out to increase hospital safe sleep. Dr. Schneider has recruited “champions” from every inpatient unit to increase awareness and educate nurses, doctors, and families about the ABCs of safe sleep. Schneider states that this program is “an opportunity to identify infants in need of a safe sleeping environment”. She continues that hospital employees have the responsibility to teach families how to keep their infants safe. Working with Dr. Schneider is Kim Hodges, DNP, who has already created a safe sleep program at Methodist Hospital’s Mother-Baby unit. The goal of Hodges work was to educate families early in the infant’s life, providing training before discharge. Dr. Hodges wrote her dissertation on safe sleep and the importance of education, stating that infant safety is her passion. Both Dr. Schneider and Dr. Hodges worked together to obtain sleep sacks for infants in both hospitals, provide a safe crib for inpatient infants, as well as visiting infants. Furthermore, families in need of a crib are identified early in the admission process so that resources to provide a crib can be obtained before discharge.