$270,000 grant from children's board helps hospital teach first-time parents

November 30, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County General Hospital has received a $270,000 grant for a program to strengthen the parenting skills of first-time mothers and fathers in Howard County.

Called "New Life, New Parents," the free program gives parents access to support groups, discounted educational programs, newsletters about parenting skills, and other assistance, which includes in-home visits in some cases.

Doctors, the hospital, Howard County health officials and agencies are recruiting parents-to-be.

Organizers expect to serve as many as 700 new parents through the program, which is funded through June, said Sharon L. Sopp, a hospital spokeswoman.

"We understand how challenging the new-parent role can be," Cindi Miller, director of community health education at the hospital, said in a written statement announcing the grant. "The goal of the `New Life, New Parents' program is to improve the health of infants and children by offering participating parents the ongoing support that will enhance their roles as new parents."

The Howard County Local Children's Board awarded the grant with money from the Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families. The board is made up of directors of public and nonprofit agencies that serve children.

New Life, New Parents was developed by Healthy Families America, a national program that promotes positive parenting and works to prevent child abuse and neglect.

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