The Health Department today launched a new bilingual campaign for parents of children age birth to 5 called “Here for You,” from Harlem to Hollis for all NY’ers.The campaign highlights Health Department resources for parents and guardians, expectant parents, and those who may become parents. There are half a million children under the age of 5 in New York City. Of these children, about half live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Over one-quarter live in households where access to food is sometimes scarce and nearly 1 in 10 have not seen a doctor in the last year. The resources promoted in the “Here for You” campaign are evidence-based initiatives that have be shown to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. In addition to the home visiting services – like the Nurse-Family Partnership and the Newborn Home Visiting Program – the Health Department provides parents support with breastfeeding, information about parent groups in the community, referrals to Early Intervention services and information on safe sleep practices. The campaign seeks to increase awareness of the availability of these services, which are free of charge to eligible families in historically underserved communities. The campaign will run for the remainder of the month on TV, digital and social media, bus shelters and subways.
“The Health Department wants all New Yorkers to know there are services to support the parents who are raising our littlest New Yorkers,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Parenting, even in the best circumstances, can be isolating – it is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone during the many challenging moments. Having access to critical resources, like visiting services such as the Newborn Home Visiting Program, gives parents more support to take care of their young families.”
“Many parents can use a little help, whether it be connecting them to the many available services or to a group of other parents to talk to,” said Dr. George L. Askew, Deputy Commissioner of Family and Child Health. “We want the parents of our littlest New Yorkers to know we are ‘Here for You’ as a partner in supporting and nurturing your children.”
“Evidence-based early childhood support can make all the difference for families, but only if parents know what’s available,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Maternal home visiting – like Nurse-Family Partnership – gives new moms and families the support they need in their child’s earliest years; it’s great news that the ‘Here for You’ campaign is continuing to spread the word. Thank you to the New York City Health Department, Nurse-Family Partnership and my colleagues in government.”
“Being a parent is a full-time job, and there is no training manual,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I commend Health Commissioner Bassett for launching this parenting campaign, which will provide free resources for families of infants and toddlers precisely at the time when they need to be well-versed on how to successfully raise a child. Providing information on breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and early intervention services is essential to making Brooklyn a better place to raise healthy children and families. In that spirit, my administration compiled an early childhood development report outlining the importance of early interventions, which have a significant effect on children’s emotional, intellectual and physical outcomes. This campaign will help advance that effort, and ensure that parents are equipped with the right tools to give their child the best opportunities to thrive.”
To find information about Health Department programs for parents, including the Nurse-Family Partnership and the Newborn Home Visiting Program, New Yorkers can call 311 and ask about “Our Littlest New Yorkers.” Callers will be connected to the Health Department call center, where an early childhood specialist can answer questions and refer them to the resources that best meet their needs.