Pleased to announce Families First Rhode Island, an amazing local grassroots organization, received a grant award of $40,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation. This grant allows Families First to expand its services now into Southern Rhode Island by providing in-home evaluations, treatment referrals, social support, and parenting education to pregnant and postpartum women who are experiencing or at risk for depression.
Sarah Sinclair, Executive Director of Families First Rhode Island says;
“To more effectively meet the needs of families in Southern Rhode Island, we will provide the full range of our services directly to these communities. We will provide 30 mothers with peer mentoring, clinical assessments and referrals, and social and educational gatherings. Volunteer mentor mothers will offer social support and build relationships with participating mothers through weekly home visits.”
Services are provided at no cost to families and are not restricted to first time mothers or to families based on income, insurance status or other characteristics.
An independent study revealed that a sizable portion of the demand for Families First Rhode Island’s services comes from the southern part of the state. According to the RI Department of Health, one in 13 women who give birth in Rhode Island report being diagnosed with depression during pregnancy, therefore a need clearly exists to reach out and offer services to this population.
This project is one of many funded by the Rhode Island Foundation’s strategy grants pool. “We are excited about Families First’s plan to expand its services to more Rhode Islanders. This project directly aligns with our goal for the human services sector to support projects that incorporate best practices and get positive outcomes for at risk and vulnerable children and families,” says Anna Cano-Morales, Associate Vice President for Grant Programs at The Rhode Island Foundation.
Call to Action: If you have one hour a week to volunteer to a new mom, please contact Families First RI to learn how to become a mentor mom. They are always seeking out new volunteer mentor moms.Â Your support will not include chores, babysitting, or cooking meals. During your visits, moms can talk to you confidentially about concerns and questions she may have. You can provide her with support and compassion. As a non-judgmental and caring mentor, you will be giving a mother and her new baby a brighter beginning.
To learn more about Families First Rhode Island, visit their website at www.familiesfirstri.org or contact them at (401) 383-9933.
Photo Credit: Joann Johnson, on left, (Volunteer Mentor Mom and Families First Board Member) with her mom.