COLUMBIA — The 58 mothers in the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department's Healthy Babies program will benefit from a new contract between Columbia and the Children's Trust Fund. The contract will award $5,000 to the program from the Jefferson City-based trust.
The mini-grant will be used to buy health and safety items, social services supervisor Rebecca Roesslet of the Health Department said. Items to be purchased include safe sleep sacks, which reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, spoons that change colors to indicate when food is too hot, outlet covers, baby dental care kits and diapers.
Roesslet said mothers with an identifiable risk can enter the Healthy Babies program during their pregnancy and remain until their child is 2.
“The ultimate goal of the Healthy Babies program is to help moms have healthy babies and then have a good start in early childhood,” Roesslet said.
The Children's Trust Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect as well as helping victims. The trust pays for prevention programs throughout Missouri, using donations, grants, license plate sales and dedicated fees on marriage licenses and vital records.
In Columbia, the fund has contracts with Rainbow House, First Chance for Children, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri and Central Missouri Community Action, according to Kirk Schreiber, the group's executive director.
Child abuse and neglect prevention programs funded by the trust include the following areas:
- Parent education and support
- Community education
- Staff training and development
- Safe crib programs
- School-based education
- Fatherhood initiatives
- Public education and awareness