Family Committee: Parent Education for Healthy Maine Children
To ensure that Maine families have access to a comprehensive array of family-centered, collaborative prevention services, including Home Visiting, Family Literacy, Parenting Education, and child abuse prevention. To ensure that Maine supports family-friendly practices that enable families of young children to secure their basic needs.
This committee is co-led by Council member Jan Clarkin, and Pam LaHaye, the Maine Families home visiting Program Coordinator. There are currently 12 additional committee members representing a wide variety of organizations and individuals with an interest in the priorities of this committee, including Maine state government, the university system, and many other networks, organizations and individuals.
The committee’s work plan identifies several areas of interest and attention, including:
- Maine Families Home Visiting
- Strengthening Maine Families (protective factor development)
- Parent Education, including:
o Infant Safe Sleep Education
o Infant Crying & Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention education
o Parent Education Delivery innovation
- Coordination of Dr. Brazelton’s Touchpoints training for Home Visitors
- Family Literacy
- Parent Leadership Development
These are not all areas of activity or priority and include areas that we both lead and simply monitor. Examples of accomplishments within these areas include:
- Successful completion of a white paper on Parent Education in Maine, (link to PDF file: Parent Education) prepared in partnership with the University of Maine.
- Continue leading the efforts to expand the Strengthening Families approach throughout Maine – and currently offer a free 15 hour training in Strengthening Families and offer a wide array of trainings throughout Maine
- Fully implemented the evidence based Period of PURPLE Crying
- Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program in 100% of Maine birthing facilities and support through all of Maine Families Home Visitors, Public Health Nursing and other community partners
- Provide Infant Safe Sleep videos to all birthing facilities and other key community partners to be used in parent education. Link to videos.
- Established a Cribs for Kids chapter in Maine which provides free pack n play cribs to families that would otherwise have their infant in an unsafe sleep situation
Current priority areas of focus for this committee:
- The development of a Virtual Parent Education delivery – Maine Parent’s Place
- Expansion of the community support for the Period of PURPLE Crying
- Expansion of an infant safe sleep campaign
- Expansion of Strengthening Maine Families training for Child Care providers as well as the offering of a 30 hour full training through the Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ)