June 2022 Connects E-News

Community Partner: Dads2B

Fathers can sometimes feel left out of the prenatal experience—an oversight local nonprofit Dads2B is all about addressing. Founded in 2015 as a companion Dads2B is the companion program to Moms2B.program to Moms2B, Dads2B’s goal is to ensure that dads know their growing family needs their support. It’s about empowering and educating fathers to fully be there for mom and baby, according to program founder and CEO David Fluellen. “Oftentimes, we feel like we’re not carrying the baby, we’re not pregnant, we’re just here for the ride but that’s not in fact the case,” Fluellen says. 

The Dads2B weekly education sessions focus on everything from ways to bond with baby in the womb and the importance of attending prenatal doctor visits to successful co-parenting strategies, safe spacing/healthy family planning and building a positive family unit. “Many of our dads come from a single parent household,” Fluellen says. “They never got to see what a real family structure looks like. He never really had a positive male father-figure role model and we get to be that.”

One of the program’s chief objectives is infant mortality reduction. “We have the data to support that when dad is involved, the chances of healthy birth outcomes increase,” Fluellen says. “If we really want to reduce the rate of infant deaths, we have to take a wholistic approach. When we educate dad on safe sleep and breastfeeding, mom’s more likely to do it because dad’s encouraging her.”

For Fluellen, one of the program’s highlights is being able to congratulate the proud new papas when their babies arrive. “We go visit mom, dad and baby in the hospital and take dad his own diaper bag,” Fluellen says, noting that Dads2B’s “Welcome to the World” bag is filled with diapers, wipes and anything else a dad might need when he’s caring for his baby. “Unfortunately, so many of our families don’t get that type of celebration from the community or even sometimes family or friends. So it means so much to our dads when we show up at the hospital, especially as another man.”

Dads2B is free and open to any expectant father in Franklin and Montgomery counties. Expecting fathers with a partner currently enrolled in Moms2B are especially encouraged to participate. Dads can join the program at any time during mom’s pregnancy. To enroll or learn more, call (614) 817-1950 or email moms2B@osumc.edu

FCCS and COSI Connection Studied by Harvard Business School Students

For more than a year, youth served by Children Services have analyzed fingerprints, created snowflakes, and documented real fossils through activities contained in COSI Connects Kits.
Thanks to a partnership Harvard students, COSI representatives and FCCS staff met to discuss using the COSI Connects Kits to benefit FCCS youth.  between COSI and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the kits have been used by agency-involved youth during family visits, life skills classes and more. Apart from being a resource for learning and fun, youth and their families have found that doing the activities in the kits is a great way to spend time together. The collaboration between COSI and FCCS has been such a success that it attracted the interest of students at Harvard Business School who are conducting a case study to see how the kits can be used to create even more positive experiences.

The Harvard students traveled to Ohio in May to meet with COSI and FCCS staff to talk about how the COSI Connects Kits are being used and learn ways in which they can be adapted to further meet the youths’ needs. Suggestions included creating visual aids for the experiments, offering materials in multiple languages and creating sensory-friendly kits for those with developmental challenges, as well as kits with activities that teach life skills.

The collaboration with COSI and the Connects Kits are already creating great opportunities for FCCS youth. Recently a group of teens involved in the agency’s life skills classes who completed the Her Royal Scientist Kit, visited COSI and met Camille Schrier, Her Royal Scientist and former Miss America 2020, who inspired the activities in the kit. The kits include information about scientists and STEM professions. The hope is that these early interactions with the world of science may one day inspire these youth to make science and technology their life’s work. Academic research will help make this possible.

Gun Safety and Kids

The safety of our community's children is first and foremost. Creating environments where they can safely explore, learn and grow is all our responsibility. Together, through collaboration, cooperation, and education we can Take extra precaution when storing firearms.address and find solutions to issues that present dangers in children’s environments. One such danger is having guns in our homes. Extra precautions should be taken when youth are in environments where guns are present. Leaving guns unsecured where a child can gain access can lead to severe injuries and death.

According to safekids.org, “three out of four children living in a house with a gun know where the gun is, even when their parents think they don’t know.” It is important to talk to children about gun safety while also recognizing that talking to them is not a substitute for proper storage of firearms. Guns should be kept, unloaded, out of the reach and sight of youth in a locked container with child-resistant gun locks. The ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from the firearm. The City of Columbus has partnered with Columbus Division of Fire through their Locks Saves Lives program to offer FREE gun locks. These gun locks are available to any Columbus resident free of charge at Columbus fire stations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Also, those who are unable to afford lockboxes, may email ChildInjuryPrevention@columbus.gov to learn how to receive one.

For more gun safety tips and helpful information about how to talk to your kids about gun safety, visit Safe Kids Worldwide.

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for indoor and outdoor activities and taking a few precautions can keep children safe and healthy while having fun. Keep these suggestions from Total Wellness Health and WebMD.com in mind:

Summer safety tips for children and families.

Playing Outside

Children should be encouraged to play outside during good weather. Following these safety tips will help ensure they have fun:

  • Consider learning CPR
  • Supervise children during play
  • Make sure children remain hydrated while outside for extended periods
  • Avoid sunburns by applying at least an SPF 15 sunscreen to exposed skin 30 minutes before exposure. Also encourage children to spend some time in the shade 
  • Consider using insect repellent with 10-20% DEET for children ages 2 months and older
  • Children should wear helmets, knee and elbow pads when skating, bicycling, or using a skateboard or scooter

Water Safety

There is nothing better than taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer day to cool off, but before you and your children swim, be aware:

  • Do not allow anyone to swim alone
  • A responsible adult should ALWAYS be present, while a child swims
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water
  • Don’t ignore thunder, especially around water
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water
  • If your child has swallowed water while struggling in the pool, secondary drowning is possible. Be aware of the warning signs.

Consider having fun inside on days when the temperatures are above normal. Connect with your local library for summer reading programs and search for summer camps focused on fun adventures and academics to maintain skill development during school vacations.

Visit our website for a printable parenting tip flyer on this subject.

Upcoming Events

June - Pride Month 

During the month of June, we celebrate Pride Month to recognize and honor the LGBTQ+ community. Check out the resources available to LGBTQ+ youth at the Kaleidoscope Youth Center.

June 8 - FCCS Graduation Party

The annual FCCS graduation party which celebrates youth served by the agency, graduating from High School will be held June 8.