ADCANP director, Sallye Longshore, presented a ceremonial check to prevention partners in a January 16 gathering at UA’s Child Development Research Center. Alabama State Senator Gerald Allen and State Representative Bill Poole were on hand to hear success stories from the funded agencies.
Child Development Resources received an award of $115,000 to support the Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) and Baby TALK (Teaching Activities for Learning and Knowledge) programs housed in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.
“Through an increase in funding this year from ADCANP, Baby TALK has been able to expand into Bibb County, which has relatively few services available for families and young children. This funding allowed us to place a parent-child resource specialist in the waiting room at the Bibb County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children Clinic (WIC). There, our specialist can engage parents in positive interactions and appropriate play with their child while discussing their child’s developmental stage and addressing any parenting issues or concerns they may be facing. In the few short months since the program has been operating in Bibb County, we have found that parents have already begun to develop a relationship with Baby TALK and as a result families are feeling supported because their needs are being heard,” said CDR Parent Services Coordinator, Leslie Guy.
Baby TALK (hdfs.ches.ua.edu/babytalk.html) focuses on children from birth to 3. It encourages parents to establish a nurturing relationship with their children, teaches them infant development information and suggests developmentally appropriate activities. Baby TALK visits families that deliver a baby during a stay on the obstetric units at DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center. Baby TALK also sees families in waiting rooms of the Tuscaloosa County Health Department, University Medical Center, Maude Whatley Health Center and now in Bibb County. Another service called Baby TALK Times provides parent-child interaction within a support group format.
PAL provides assistance to parents and other caregivers of children, ages birth through 18, through a statewide toll-free number. The calls are fielded by a parent resource specialist who will listen and offer information. The line is available Monday through Friday at 866-962-3030. Information is also available online at pal.ua.edu.