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Baby TALK (Teaching Activities for Learning and Knowledge)

Baby TALK is a community effort designed to encourage parents in nurturing their children age birth to age 5. It is a preventative model that delivers services at DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center (NMC), University Medical Center (UMC), Maude Whatley Health Clinic and the Health Departments in Tuscaloosa, Bibb and Greene counties. Baby TALK staff & volunteers visit new moms when they deliver their baby at DCH or NMC. They are informal in their approach so that parents are put at ease, and then parents are encouraged to share observations they have already made about their newborn. The visit provides the opportunity to engage and enhance the observation skills of the parent thus promoting the parent-infant relationship. A Newborn handout is given as a reinforcement of information shared during the visit. Also, parents can choose a new children’s board book for their baby. Staff share how reading books can benefit their baby’s development and provide an opportunity for them to grow closer to their babies. The Hospital Visits not only provide helpful and timely information, but builds parents’ confidence in their ability to be successful in their parenting. Parent-Child Resource Specialists conduct well-child visits in the waiting area as parents access services in the WIC Clinics at the Tuscaloosa, Bibb and Greene County Health Departments & at the Pediatric Clinics at University Medical Center & Maude Whatley Health Clinic. Waiting areas are filled with parents and expectant mothers seeking medical, financial or social services prenatally or for their children ages birth -5 years. The well child visit consists of supporting engagement of parents in positive interactions and appropriate play with their child while also discussing the stage of their child’s development & addressing any parenting issues/concerns they may be facing as well as how they are coping. Each parent will receive printed materials about their child’s stage of development and their specific parenting concerns and a children’s board book to read together. In this setting the specialist will also model positive communication and appropriate interaction for parents. Well-Child visits in the clinics also provide an excellent opportunity to follow up with many of the same families as parents access the services monthly. In extension to Hospital Visits and Well-Child Visits, the Baby TALK program has additional components including: developmental newsletters mailed to families until the child reaches the age of three, follow up phone calls, a parent resource library housed at CDR, periodic parent information seminars, Baby TALK Times parent support groups, Month of the Young Child Parent Education, & volunteer training.

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Ages served: Prenatal (before birth), Infant (0-12 months), Toddler (13-25 months), Preschooler (3-5 years)
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Languages spoken: English, Spanish
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Locations served: Bibb, Greene and Tuscaloosa Counties
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Transportation accommodations: No
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Special-needs population served: Yes
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Contact info: (205) 348-2235