We are proud to announce that Jewish Family & Children's Service has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation's Targeted Grant program to fund home visits and support groups for immigrant parents of young children through the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support® (CERS).

Each year, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation's Targeted Grant program focuses on a different need in the community. In 2017, the Targeted Grant program will donate more than $1.5 million to organizations working to support immigrants in communities served by Eastern Bank. In recent months, new parents who are immigrants have become especially vulnerable due to rising fear,isolation, and emotional strain caused by uncertainty surrounding their sense of belonging in their communities.

Our Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program supports these families throughout the critical first year of life when a secure relationship with a responsive caregiver– usually the mother – is essential to healthy development.The grant will enable CERS to increase the hours of our Spanish-speaking staff to serve additional Spanish speaking new moms, as well as immigrants from other areas of the world. Almost 50% of the new parents served by the Visiting Moms program are immigrants to the US.

For more than 25 years, the Visiting Moms program has been providing mother-to-mother support through weekly home visits throughout the first year of parenthood so that parents can provide the responsive,consistent care their babies need to thrive. The goals of these visits are to improve parenting competence, reduce maternal depression, and strengthen the mother-baby bond. Additionally, the program provides free weekly support groups that empower parents to find out what works best for them while helping to build a peer supported community. The Eastern Bank grant will also help fund our Spanish-speaking support groups.

As part of a larger human services agency, JF&CS can provide our immigrant clients with access to additional services such as our food pantry, benefits and legal assistance, and other programming to support vulnerable immigrant populations.

"Every parent dreams of a bright future for their newborn and yet, being a new parent is a daunting task for all of us,"says Laura Kurzrok, Executive Director of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. "We believe this program will help ease the burden for immigrant parents who are already coping with an overwhelming number of issues as they adjust to their new lives."

We are honored to be able to offer the services provided by the Visiting Moms program to vulnerable immigrant families in our community thanks to this very generous grant from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.