Caring for Generations
More pages in this section

Oliver, Ian, and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings

Fragile Beginnings - support for preemie parentsThe Oliver, Ian, and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings program is committed to improving the lives of parents of premature infants and other infants who have had a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We provide direct support services, educational materials, and connections to community resources and other families. We are guided by the principle that the families of fragile babies strongly benefit from parenting support beginning in the hospital, during their transition home, and throughout their child’s developmental years.

In Massachusetts, one in ten babies is born prematurely and many more spend time in the NICU. Families often leave the hospital and make the transition home without the necessary supports and safety nets in place. We have found that parents welcome the opportunity to process their experience and to begin to move forward with the support of a Fragile Beginnings clinician.

The free support provided through Fragile Beginnings includes:

  • Fragile Beginnings Hospital and Home Visits: Fragile Beginnings clinicians provide vital support to the parents and caregivers of vulnerable infants, beginning in the NICU and continuing in the home. We offer emotional support, parental guidance in understanding their unique babies, and connections to other JF&CS and community resources. This free service is available to any family in Greater Boston whose baby was born prematurely or spent time in the NICU. *During the public health crisis, all visits are being conducted virtually. 
  • Fragile Beginnings Support Group: This virtual support group for parents whose babies have spent time in the NICU provides an opportunity for parents to connect with other parents who have shared similar experiences and concerns. This group, facilitated by a Fragile Beginnings clinician, meets weekly. The group is offered at no charge to participants. *This group is now meeting via Zoom. 
  • Fragile Beginnings Parent Connection: In addition to our weekly phone group, we offer opportunities to connect with other families in person. Our Evenings of Connection are held every few months at our Waltham office. Parents or providers of children who have spent time in the NICU are welcome to join our email list to receive information about our programs and events.
  • Fragile Beginnings Resource List: We have assembled a list of websites and resources that may be helpful for families of vulnerable infants.

To Refer Yourself or Someone Else

To learn more about what Fragile Beginnings offers or to make a referral for yourself or someone else, contact Wendy Hurwitz at or 781-693-5623. Referrals are accepted during pregnancy. Fragile Beginnings is non-sectarian, free of charge, and open to all parents in the community. Please let us know if you require any accommodations to participate.

*Please note that we are still accepting referrals and following up on them virtually during the COVID-19 situation. 

Contact Us

781-647-JFCS (5327)
Email Us

Find Us

1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451

Join Our Email List
CJP Support