Invest in Children Success Stories
We work with our lead agency partners to ensure the well-being of all young children and their families in Cuyahoga County through a continuum of targeted services prenatal to kindergarten. Here are a few of their stories.
MomsFirst: Helping Hundreds of Clients - One at a Time
Jasmine's Story: Jasmine was enrolled in the MomsFirst Program at Lexington Bell Community Center due to her pregnancy being considered high-risk after experiencing a prior miscarriage. Like all moms entering the program, Jasmine was assigned a MomsFirst Community Health worker (CHW) to help her navigate her health and life circumstances during pregnancy and beyond.
MomsFirst is a City of Cleveland program, funded in part by Invest in Children, that offers case management and home visiting services to pregnant moms until their baby reaches 18 months. Women and fathers who participate in the MomsFirst program receive health education on topics such as prenatal care, breastfeeding, family planning, and safe sleep. MomsFirst also assists with referrals to meet insurance, housing, food, and education needs, etc. The program is making a difference to hundreds of pregnant women every year, and Jasmine’s story is just one recent example.
Jasmine met with and stayed in contact with her CHW throughout her pregnancy and has since given birth to a health child. Jasmine credits her CHW with helping her recover from her previous pregnancy loss and for delivering supportive services throughout her most recent pregnancy that made a difference. She is thankful for the MomsFirst program and has since also reached some important personal goals. Jasmine is a loving mom, and with encouragement and ideas provided by her CHW she has started her own business as an event planner.
COLLABORATING PARTNERS: INVEST IN CHILDREN, UNITED WAY OF NORTHEAST OHIO. CUYAHOGA COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM, CITY OF CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY AND FAMILY CONNECTIONS
South Euclid FamilySpace Location Draws Big Crowd
June, 2023 -- The FamilySpace location in South Euclid served an astounding 107 participants in one day on Thursday, May 4th. Forty-Four adults came and brought 63 children -- most in the one to four age range. By far, the program’s biggest day ever, the participants reflected a diverse group of caregivers, including Dads, Moms, Aunts, Nannies, and Grandparents.
FamilySpace is an award-winning program that offers safe and fun spaces for families with children birth through age 5 to meet, socialize and receive information and services based on their needs and interests. Families and their children can come together to connect with other families going through similar experiences to learn, share and grow together. A trained staff person also assists with connecting families to resources and services. On May 4th, FamilySpace staff not only kept everyone safe, but also talked with EVERY family and provided resources and direction.
“A big thank you the FamilySpace staff at the South Euclid Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library” said Alyssa Swiatek, Interim Associate Director of Invest in Children. “They have clearly created a space and experience that families find fun, safe, informative, and worth their time.”
Held at four locations around the county, FamilySpace is built on an effective partnership between Invest in Children, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Public Library, City of Cleveland Public Library and Family Connections. Family input is a key part of how the FamilySpace locations operate. Neighborhood-based Family Advisory Committees guide the programming to meet family interests and needs and to achieve equity through shared decision making.
See if FamilySpace can fit in your plans. Learn more here!
Welcome Home -- Newborn Home Visiting Program
Invest in Children Lead Agency: Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Home Visit Nurse Helps Mom Get Potentially Life-Saving Care
April, 2023 -- This past December, a Welcome Home RN contacted a new mom about scheduling an in-home visit. She had just had a C-section a couple of weeks prior and agreed, but asked if the visit could be done virtually. She hadn’t had any complications during her pregnancy, and there had been no concern about, or history of, hypertension or preeclampsia. During the virtual visit, Mom mentioned that she was having a persistent headache and swollen legs. The nurse asked if she could come to the home and take her vital signs to make sure her blood pressure wasn’t elevated. Mom agreed and a visit was scheduled for later that day.
Upon assessment, Mom’s blood pressure was significantly elevated, and the nurse had her call her doctor while she remained with her. However, despite the urgency of her condition, she couldn’t reach the doctor. The nurse then had her call the labor and delivery unit at the hospital where she had delivered, and said she would stay with her until she got some clear medical direction. This step too, did not result in reaching anyone who could give direction, but together they were persistent and finally spoke with a nurse who advised her to come to the unit for evaluation later that day.
After a quick exam at the hospital, Mom was admitted for two days and treated for a diagnosis of postpartum preeclampsia. Her story emphasizes the importance of an assessment by a trained medical provider in the postpartum period. Being able to assess the mom, identify symptoms of concern, stay with her, and encourage her to stick with it, prevented a potentially tragic outcome.