About Parenting Partnership
We believe families who have experienced a NICU stay could benefit from additional support through intensive therapeutic home/clinic visits and group sessions. Our goal is to promote parental strengths, knowledge about child development and enhance attachment while decreasing stress and isolation.
Mary Bridge Parenting Partnership program is an early childhood home visiting program established in 1998 to provide support to infants and families upon discharge from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The program seeks to improve parenting skills and self-efficacy, decrease stress in the parent-child relationship, and maintain access to needed healthcare services.
About the Program
Our Parenting Partnership program is designed to support NICU infants and their families during the first three years of life. It is a home-visiting program that also includes accompanying families to medical appointments and providing peer support groups. There is no cost to families to participate in this program.
Our program recognizes the stressors and emotional upheaval in having expectations for a healthy, typical child and then being faced with a different outcome. Sometimes the stressors faced in the hospital do not entirely go away when baby goes home.
Our program provides two NICU nurse visits to assist with questions about feeding, weight gain as well as other medical concerns that emerge the first few weeks the infant is home. Family social workers with specialized training provide home visits and/or virtual visits in addition to assisting with navigating medical appointments and accessing developmental services. Peer support is offered through monthly group meetings and community outings. Infant’s milestones and interactions with parents are captured on video and provided as a keepsake for families.
This program is supported by Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) and Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation.
An Unplanned Journey: Parenting a Medically Fragile Infant
The video seen below captures a portion of a family’s journey during a home visit with one of our Family Social Workers.
Parenting Partnership recognizes having an infant stay in a NICU can be a challenging experience, and many infants continue to face challenges after going home. This program provides families with a caring connection to a family support worker and other parents after discharge from the NICU. The relationship focus of our program supports healthy child development and improves the quality of parent-child interactions.
What families are saying about their Parenting Partnership experience
- It was lifesaving...it has been one of the most important parts in making such a difficult journey with my medically fragile baby manageable.
- Someone seemed to understand as I navigated the "grief and loss" I was feeling.
- My good parenting was celebrated and encouraged.
- I could talk to my Family Support Worker about anything and not feel judged.
- This program provided a place to address the emotional struggles parents face on this journey.
- I felt seen.
- We felt lucky to have this support in our lives: it truly makes a difference.
- Initially the support from family and friends felt like enough. As time went on the support lessened and I was grateful to have the consistency of the Parenting Partnership program and my assigned family social worker.
Looking for more information?
All families that are referred to this program must have had an infant in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Entry into this program requires a referral; this can be from a NICU social worker, a NICU nurse case manager, providers at the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic (NNFU), and any specialty clinic provider or Primary Care Physician. Other area NICU’s and outside agencies (Birth to Three Services) may also refer to this program.
Provider Referral Form
If you have an infant you would like to refer, please complete the form below. Eligibility for the program will then be determined by the Parenting Partnership Team and you will be contacted directly.