News

November 19, 2019

Fatherhood: The Importance of Listening to Fathers

Join Brazelton Touchpoints Center on Tuesday, November 19 for a webinar with professor and researcher, Dr. Kyle Pruett, M.D.

About

Dr. Kyle Pruett is a Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and pioneering researcher on fathers and their children. In this webinar, he will discuss fatherhood and the importance of listening to fathers and engaging them in their children’s development.

Registration

To register for this webinar and learn more, visit the event webpage.

More Information

For questions, contact Kayla Savelli at kayla.savelli@childrens.harvard.edu.

News

September 30, 2019

Understanding The Court System | Child Support Laws

Join that Fathers Collaborative Council of Western PA on September 30 for “Understanding the Court System – Child Support Laws” to learn more about Child Support Law and procedures as implemented in Allegheny County.

About

This workshop will be led by Patrick W. Quinn. Included topics will discuss:

    • the importance of communication with the Court;
    • appearing in court;
    • ways to litigate your case;
    • how child support orders are determined and enforced;
    • the importance and procedure for modifying a child support order; and
    • services available to non-custodial parents, including work search, training assistance, and the Social Security Disability Monitoring Program.

2.5 hours of Social Work Continuing Education credits are available for a fee of $10. Call 412.394.5955 for details.

Registration

Registration for this workshop is free and can be completed via Eventbrite.

More Information

For more information, call 412.394.5955.

News

August 5, 2019

For Children’s Long-Term Success, Families Need Paid Leave

When a family introduces a new child into their life, the last thing they should have to worry about is if they have the time and money to properly care for and bond with their child. However, families across the Commonwealth are in that exact situation, with many caregivers involuntarily reducing their work hours, changing jobs, or leaving the workforce entirely.

Early Interactions Matter

While many may associate childhood learning with the education system, learning and development begin much earlier than a child’s first classroom experience. Parents and caregivers are children’s first teachers, and to support the long-term success of the next generation, we need to ensure that all caregivers are afforded the opportunity to care for and bond with their children.

In Pennsylvania, there are more than 870,000 children under the age of six. Of those children, 41 percent live in low-income households. While about 51 percent of children birth to age five are in non-parental care for at least 10 hours per week, accessing such services can be difficult and expensive. Due to high costs, limited seats, and child care deserts, families across the Commonwealth are left without access to the affordable, high-quality child care services they need.

The difficulties don’t stop there. Without child care access, families have limited options. They can rotate their child through a list of available family members and friends; reduce or shift their work hours; change their profession; or leave the workforce entirely. More often than not, these challenges disproportionately affect women who make up 94 percent of workers that involuntarily work part-time due to child care problems. While these options exist, all of them can lead to negative outcomes, including financial insecurity, inconsistent caregiving, increased family stress, and difficulties reentering the workforce.

Research shows that positive interactions with consistent adult caregivers are important during children’s early development, as they optimize the development of brain pathways for the visual and auditory senses, motor and language processing, higher cognitive functioning, and emotional regulation. This challenge is more than just having someone around to look after a child. It’s about establishing the conditions children need to experience success later in life.

Current Policy

In the current family leave system, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. FMLA was designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities, providing this benefit to employees at public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. However, just because unpaid leave is available does not mean that it is accessible. In January 2019, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported out that unpaid leave under the FMLA is inaccessible for 59 percent of working people.

The Family Care Act

If Pennsylvania passes the Family Care Act, families will no longer have to choose between remaining financially stable in the workforce and caring for their young child in the most critical period of their life. The Family Care Act establishes a statewide insurance fund, similar to Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation fund, which allows individuals to draw down a portion of their salary for:

    • Up to 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
    • Up to 12 weeks to care for a covered service member as covered under FMLA
    • Up to 20 weeks to care for their own serious health condition
    • Up to 20 weeks to care for a new child after a birth, adoption, or placement through foster care

In Pennsylvania, families should come first. To ensure caregivers’ financial security, healthy relationship development, and workplace success, we need to make sure that they have access to the paid leave they need to care for their family. For the long-term personal, academic, and professional success of our youngest generation, we need to pass the Family Care Act.

Take Action

Paid family leave is not only a family value, it’s also a Pennsylvania value–and that’s a fact. Use your voice to advocate for families by encouraging the state government to pass the Family Care Act. Visit the campaign page to learn more.

To stay up-to-date on advocacy opportunities, sign up for Trying Together’s Public Policy newsletter or visit our Take Action page.

News

May 20, 2019

Children’s Fund Working Group Community Meetings

Join the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Working Group this spring for a series of community meetings to share your views on what works best and what additional support is needed when it comes to early learning and out-of-school time.

About

Allegheny County’s goal is to make sure that every child can benefit from quality early learning and out-of-school time. A series of six Community Meetings are being held across the County to learn from families, caregivers, and educators what access to quality early learning and out-of-school time looks like today—from your perspective and in your community.

Each meeting will include child care, refreshments, and opportunities for community members to voice their input on how Allegheny County can be a leader for kids moving forward.

Community Meeting Dates

The Allegheny County Children’s Fund Working Group and community members will convene on the following dates:

    • City Meeting – May 30 | 6:30 p.m. | Jeron X Grayson Community Center, Hill District
    • West Meeting – June 3 | 6:30 p.m. | The Landing Community Center, Moon Township
    • South Meeting – June 4 | 6:30 p.m. | Bethel Park Community Center
    • North Meeting – June 5 | 6:00 p.m. | Shaler North Hills Library
    • East Meeting – June 12 | 6:30 p.m. | Founders Hall Middle School, McKeesport
    • Spanish-Language Meeting – June 18 | 6:30 p.m. | YWCA Building, Downtown Pittsburgh

Registration & Questions

Visit the Community Meeting website to learn more, RSVP, or contact event organizers.

News

May 17, 2019

PPS: Take a Father to School Day 2019

Pittsburgh Public Schools welcomes fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and positive male role models to participate in the nationally recognized Take a Father to School Day.

In support of the District’s long-term outcome of increased proficiency in literacy for all students, this year’s theme is #ExpectGreatThings. Every school will have an activity or event planned to celebrate the day.

Ask your school for details!

Questions

For questions, contact Larry Meadows at 412.529.3851.

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News

May 14, 2019

Imagination Library Online Registration Now Open

On April 27, 2019, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced that a new program will offer free monthly books to Pittsburgh children from birth to age five. The program is currently accepting applications from parents and guardians.

About the Program

The free book program – in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Benter Foundation, and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania – will mail all eligible children an age-appropriate book every month up until their fifth birthday. Participating children will receive their first book through the U.S. Postal Services six to eight weeks after the registration form has been received.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, preschoolers must:

  • Be a resident of the City of Pittsburgh
  • Have a parent or guardian fill out an official registration form
  • Notify the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania of any address changes

Registration

To sign up for this program, register your children online via the Imagination Library website!

Interested in mailing in or submitting your registration in person? See their webpage for more details.

Questions

For any questions, please contact Tiffini Simoneaux via email (tiffini.simoneaux@pittsburghpa.gov) or phone (412.255.2505).

News

May 9, 2019

Resources for Families in the Wake of Tragedy

In response to the violent events happening in communities throughout the United States of America, Trying Together hopes to support young children, their families, and the caregivers who interact with them by recognizing available community-based and online resources.

Trying Together extends our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of those lost and to those injured or traumatized by such horrific events. Thank you to all of the public health and safety professionals who respond and provide service to affected communities across America, and thank you to the organizations and individuals that extend your hands and services in support.

 


Mental Health Services and Supports

resolve Crisis Services
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Be Well Pittsburgh
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Highmark Caring Place
The Compassionate Friends: Pittsburgh Chapter
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Supportive Care Department

Articles and Resources

Israel Trauma Coalition
American Counseling Association
Fred Rogers Productions
Anti-Defamation League
Fran Sherman in USA Today
Dr. Debi Gilboa in NEXT Pittsburgh
PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
Child Trends
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Additional Lists

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

News

March 23, 2019

March DaDness

Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education Programs Male/Fatherhood Involvement Committee Presents the 11th annual March DaDness event.

March DaDness is a one-day basketball tournament for fathers/significant males and their families designed to instill teamwork. Players must be 18 years or older to participate. There will be food and fun for the entire family!

Registration is required. If your child attends Pittsburgh Westinghouse High School, please sign up in their classroom by Monday, March 11th. Contact Felicia Bonner at 412.529.2625 with questions.

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News

January 4, 2019

Coats and Car Seats: Keeping Your Child Warm

Winter means keeping kids warm, but did you know that babies and young children should NOT wear puffy coats or snowsuits when in their car seat?

What Happens?

As demonstrated by the video below, coats or snowsuits can compress under the harness of a car seat, sometimes up to four inches. When this happens, the compression can cause the straps of your child’s car seat to not fit properly, creating a dangerous situation. This situation can also happen with sleeping bags for babies, creating an unsafe ride for your baby.

Recommendations

If you’re looking for ways to keep your baby or young child warm while in a car seat, consider incorporating the following recommendations:

  • Dress your baby or young child in snug layers, like onesies and leggings. Add long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, shoes, and socks. You can even include a jacket.
  • For babies, use covers specifically for car seats that are designed to give warmth. These covers should be approved by the car-seat manufacturer for your specific car seat.
  • For older babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners, after securing them in the car seat, turn their coat around and put it on backward (arms through the armholes) so the coat is on top of the harness, or use a blanket in the car.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)

News

November 3, 2018

Community Health Advocate Training Program for Fathers

The Community Health Advocate Training Program is a three-week training, one Saturday per week, that will prepare you to make lasting change in the health of families and communities! Take this opportunity to learn more about advocacy and community engagement, gain skills in self-care to help you be at your best to care for your family, and learn how to use your own experiences to make changes in your community.

You will receive:

  • 25 hours of paid training
  • Free meals and child care during the training
  • A netbook – yours to keep after the training

This program runs from November 3 – November 17. Space is limited. For more information, contact Shannon Lawhorn at (412) 723-1342.

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