Thanks to the generous support of the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation, and in collaboration with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, CICC has been able to further expand the Early Intervention program to include its ground-breaking Hospital to Home (H2H) Program. A research team from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto has been engaged to evaluate the program.
H2H is ground-breaking because it offers “earlier” intervention support to families whose infants are born with extreme prematurity prior to hospital discharge. In this pilot project, the Early Childhood Interventionist begins providing support to parents during their infant’s stay in the NICU in Sunnybrook’s BOOST program. These infants require the highest level of care and typically endure long hospital stays, during which time their parents may experience significant stress.
H2H intends to prove that earlier intervention begets positive outcomes not only for the infant, but also and importantly, for the parent/caregiver mental wellbeing. CICC’s Early Childhood Interventionists provide an expert ear in times of stress and uncertainty, infant development advice, parent education, access to important services, reassurance, and moral support. This support continues through the infant and family’s transition home from hospital, and thereafter, at the family home via CICC’s Early Intervention home-visit program.
Empirical data from the H2H project is being gathered to demonstrate how beneficial and crucial the provision of earlier intervention support is for developmentally at-risk infants and their families. This evidence will then be used as a tool with which to advocate for increased financial support from the government, so that more families in need of guidance and developmental support for their infants can access it as early as possible. The earlier the support, the better.
Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation.