Welcome to our social impact series, called “Five Questions.” On the first day of every month, we will share five questions with a community organization serving children and youth in Jackson County. We hope to inspire you, enlighten you, and connect you with community organizations should you ever need assistance. By sharing this with you, we hope that together we can be inspired to take action to improve our communities!
Having a support system throughout pregnancy and as you enter motherhood is crucial, but if you don’t have a built-in support system, where do you go? Enter: the Maternal Infant Health Program. This amazing program supports expectant mothers (and fathers) and continues to support them up until the little one turns 18 months old. As someone who has worked in the field of education and child development, I particularly appreciate the work that MIHP does to support developmental milestones for the infants they work with. I learned so much about the Maternal Infant Health Program through my discussion with Aliya White, a social worker for the program, and I have a feeling you will learn something new, too.
Five Questions with the Maternal Infant Health Program
1. Tell us about the Maternal Infant Health Program here in Jackson and the mission of your organization.
We are the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP). To mention a little about us, we work with expecting mothers/fathers as well as infants who are under the age of one, although we can work with the family up until the baby is 18 months old. A requirement for our eligibility is that the mother (if expecting) must have Medicaid and the infant must have Medicaid as well. The family must be within Jackson County.
To say the least, we assist families with just about everything they present to us. Not only will the family meet with a social worker like myself, but they will also meet with a nurse. Our families tend to enjoy having both disciplines and it is completely free as it is billed through their insurance. We meet with the family at least once a month. We are a home visiting program so we can come into their homes, although meeting via telehealth (Facetime, Zoom, Google Duo, telephone, etc.) is always an option as well. Our mission is to promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
2. What services are available through your agency?
We are a support and referral service and some of the ways we benefit the families we work with include:
- Referring families to breastfeeding classes, parenting & birthing classes
- Mental health services
- Nutritional guidance
- Assisting with obtaining health insurance, food benefits, childcare assistance
- Connecting families to other resources within the community
- Discussing immunizations for mother & infant
- Measuring babies developmental skills with the use of ASQ’s
- Addressing any concerns their doctors or the family themselves may have
3. Who is eligible for your services?
Expecting mothers and/or those who have had a baby that is under the age of 18 months. Also, they must have Medicaid health insurance.
4. Tell us a bit about the work you do specifically to support children in Jackson County.
We support the infants and families in Jackson County by providing extra support in their lives. We expose families to resources in the community that they may not be aware of that may benefit them such as housing, food, clothes, education, transportation, etc. We measure babies’ developmental skills and address any concerns needed of the family. We work with other programs to make sure that families are getting their needs met. We discuss child wellness visits, immunizations, doctor’s recommendations, etc.
Bonus Question: What is your favorite kid-friendly place in Jackson County?
The Jackson District Library!