If you are a parent-to-be, single mother, or parent of an infant one year and under, you can expect major challenges starting from before the child is born and throughout their infancy.
Let’s not even talk about the challenges of raising adolescents, as that is a topic for another article. The undeniable truth is that raising children and providing for a family is not an easy task. However, you are not alone. Catholic Charities has a program that can help ease the stress of infant parenthood.
As thousands of families in Eastern Connecticut struggle to make ends meet, Catholic Charities is an indispensable resource that provides services and programs to assist families in need. The organization believes families are worthy of opportunities to achieve empowerment and self-sufficiency and for that reason has designed a program to help expectant mothers and fathers and parents with infants get the information and support they need.
Catholic Charities help people of all faiths, races/ethnicities, and ages. As part of the Intensive Case Management/Emergency Basic Needs Program, the agency assists families with Pregnancy Education Services, a program where parents can get counseling and education about relevant topics addressing parenthood, as well as referrals to other services. Through this program, the agency provides baby essentials, such as formula, diapers, wipes, clothing, blankets, hygiene items, car seats, and groceries from the food pantry.
Catholic Charities also provides furniture referrals, especially for cribs and basinets, in addition to medical devices such as breast pumps. The agency houses two of the five milk bank depots for newborns in the State of Connecticut. The milk is screened by Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast, then gets distributed through the milk bank, to infants in need across the Northeast.
Among those seeking these services are single mothers, young mothers, first-time mothers/fathers, and families with multiple children.
Every month, the agency coordinates Pregnancy Support Groups in which Case Managers discuss pregnancy, parenting, child health and development topics, and a variety of other issues. In February, the group discussed nutrition and how to prepare foods for babies 12 months old and younger. The meetings are a way for parents and children to interact and learn while they build supportive relationships. The groups are led by bilingual, English and Spanish instructors.
Catholic Charities takes pride in the mission of assisting families to improve their quality of life, a mission started 99 years ago. A commitment to “Provide Help and Create Hope” for families of all faiths, throughout Eastern Connecticut.
For more information on this and other programs and how Catholic Charities staff is adapting to meet the needs of their clients during the current crisis, please visit CCFSN.org
-- By Sindy Montalvo