Every child is entitled to the best possible start. Scientific studies show, in fact, how the first thousand days of life have an impact on the emotional, cognitive, social and learning capacity of the new born. What happens in this very short period of time affects a person's entire life; for this reason, supporting the most fragile and vulnerable families and those who are also facing the great change linked to the birth of a child is really important; not only for the children who have just come into the world, but also the parents, family and the network of relationships surrounding him.
The goal of the project is to be with families, accompany them and create relationships and new opportunities around the child. Active since February 2019, the "With the families" project has already made it possible to support 22 local families with a child under the age of 12 months through weekly home visits by our educators. There have been 25 children so far. In one case the care was provided to twins and in two cases after the end of the program, the families have re-entered the project for a new birth.
For each family, the home visitor is supported and integrated with the activities and services already present in the area (pregnancy control, birth accompaniment courses, basic pediatric assistance, early childhood education services). Our educators are therefore supportive to families in the parent-child relationship from its earliest stages and also have the important task of connecting the family unit to the social fabric and network of services in the area. Parents and educators in the socio-educational project “With the families” collaborate together in a constructive way, to guarantee the best possible start to the boys and girls.
Entering the world of families means reaching parents who would rarely ask for help and offering them the tools to become independent and autonomous, with a solid and widespread network of relationships. This allows everyone to feel good and know who to turn to in case of need.
The method of intervention that the team follows to help families in difficulty has an important scientific value and was theorized by Professor Berry Brazelton, an important American pediatrician. It is called the Touchpoints method and aims to create stable and functional relationships and growth opportunities around the child in the various stages of his/her development.
Despite the passing of Professor Brazelton, his studies and methodologies continue to be deepened, promoted and applied by the Brazelton Touchpoints Center of Harvard University in Boston. All over the world various centers have been set up that deal with the dissemination of this revolutionary working model. In Italy the Touchpoints Training Center is in Rome. It is precisely the this Center’s professionals who accompany the project team in the important support work for families with periodic supervision by Dr. Luca Migliaccio.
"With the families" is a socio-educational project proposed and conceived by Dr. Marta Franci, psychologist and family therapist, and by Dr. Mariolina Frigeri, pediatrician, both members of the Scientific Committee of the Valter Baldaccini Foundation.
USL Umbria 2 was involved from the beginning in its formation and thus began the important collaboration with the Subasio Foligno consultancy, fundamental for the identification and reporting of the most fragile and distressed families and also for monitoring their situations. The team includes: the social worker Dr. Francesca Montagnoli and the midwives Dr. Sara Sforna and Dr. Maria Josè Quezada.
The operational partner of the project is the Comunità La Tenda, a social cooperative from Foligno that has been dealing with addiction, minors, young people, work and social integration for forty years. Dr. Annachiara Papa, a cooperative educator, will go to the homes of the families for the home visits.