Posted by Peggy Kaufman
In June, I presented the development, evolution, and present structure of the Oliver, Ian, and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings program to an international audience at the World Association of Infant Mental Health in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was well prepared thanks to Karin Lindfors and my colleagues in the Fragile Beginnings program, but I found myself quite nervous. The audience response to the presentation was met with overwhelming success. Participants from Greece, Poland, Australia, and Finland, among others, asked for presentation notes and our contact information in hopes of meeting some of the needs of parents of premature infants in their home countries. We know that there is no other program like JF&CS Fragile Beginnings in the United States. But after presenting about Fragile Beginnings in Scotland, we learned from this international audience that there is no other program in the world that provides the support and interventions Fragile Beginnings provides as a family transitions from the NICU to home and for the weeks and months that follow.
I felt so proud of our presence at this conference. In addition to Fragile Beginnings, our work in Project NESST, Project BRIGHT, and our Infant-Parent Training Institute were showcased, making the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support® the most represented community agency at the seven-day conference. The international community of more than 1,500 professionals from around the globe that were present are all committed to research, training, and clinical practice with infants, young children, and their families. Our shared goals leave me with hope for the future.
Peggy H. Kaufman, MEd, LICSW is the founding director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support. With a background in perinatal emotional health and the growth and development of parents, her interests include the earliest relationships. Ms. Kaufman is the recipient of multiple awards for her groundbreaking programs and her commitment to increase awareness of postpartum depression and maternal and infant mental health.