Money raised from the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund’s specialty license plate goes to many organizations that work to prevent child abuse and neglect and aid families in adjusting to parenthood and the challenges that can come with it. One such organization is the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Family Resource Center. The center is host to a massive collection of books, pamphlets, videos, and other resources that help educate families and community members about a child’s physical and emotional health. CTF provides funding for the center’s Resource Librarian who assists parents and caregivers in understanding their child’s diagnosis in order to provide proper care. (AUDIO: Joanne Buttice talks about the importance of funding from CTF.) Studies indicate that informed parents who know what to expect in their child’s development are better prepared to handle associated stress and less likely to become frustrated, thereby reducing the risk of abuse and neglect. We spoke with some of the professionals who provide education through the Family Resource Center.
Joanne Buttice, Director of Guest Services at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, says the Family Resource Center is staffed with pediatric nurses and medical librarians who are trained in medical research and know how to access resources through accredited medical research databases. She says this information is sometimes requested far and wide.
The Family Resource Center is publicized through the hospital’s orientation station, internal video monitors, orientation packets, through staff, and through a volunteer ambassador program. The volunteers make sure families know about the resources within the first 24 to 48 hours after admission. Many times parents are getting the information for the first time.
Resources provided through the Family Resource Center are intended for use in continual care of families, even after discharge.
Margie Batek, Lead Social Worker, works in the emergency department. She says often, during an ER visit, it’s a good time to approach parents with information offered in the resource center.
Batek says that sometimes just speaking to a parent or caregiver isn’t enough.