Best4Babies (B4B) is part of the Best Starts for Kids program, and seeks to support parents in integrating their cultural background with the systems of raising children in America—all with the goal of improving the wellbeing of babies! This program is funded by Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Innovation Funds, in which we were able to propose our own innovation and gain technical assistance to design and implement it using the Frontiers of Innovation IDEAS Impact Framework.
As a wrap up on our initial phase of design work, we hosted two listening sessions in February and March at Mother Africa to connect with Swahili speaking women who are expecting or are new parents in the U.S. Raising a family here is much different than many of the countries where our communities come from. Back home they had large support networks to help take care of the baby and mom and here there is so much to manage on your own, as well as working full time to make ends meet. Best4Babies will mimic the social supports from their home countries to help moms and babies thrive here.
We will run a pilot phase of the program for 6 months in 2019 with Swahili speaking mothers. Then we'll pause to evaluate and implement any findings from the pilot, and by late this year we'll launch the full-scale program in multiple communities including French, Arabic, and Dari/Farsi speaking! We look forward to this opportunity to intentionally and authentically supporting mothers on their journey of parenting in the U.S.