Grant for Young Parents' Program
"The more we can do to give these families the skills they need to be able to work together to parent, and have strong relationships with each other, the better it will be for the children," said Co-Director Kim Allen.
"When they are together in their decision making, that that will positively impact the child, as opposed to being opposing forces, and having different ideas about the child and how they be raised," added Co-Director Carol Mertensmeyer, who also heads ParentLink, another MU Extension program.
Connecting for Baby has a weekend retreat for couples to learn relationship skills. Then, follow-up sessions for the next 11 months cover different aspects of the relationship, such as managing money. A Connecting for Baby toolkit for professionals helps implement the program. Participants have access to "WarmLine," part of ParentLink, to call for parenting help. An advertising campaign will promote healthy and stable relationships.
"One of the fun parts about it for us is we have to put on our creative caps to figure out how they best hear this information," said Mertensmeyer.
Connecting for Baby will start early next year, and directors hope to help 660 couples in the next five years.
Call Warmline toll-free, at 1-800-552-8522, for more information.