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The scene of #parentinfantNYNY

Harlem Meer on a sunny Sunday 6th November, 2016

It is beautiful here in NYC.  Unseasonably warm and blue skies.  What better way to start the day than basking in the sun beside Harlem Meer?

Seminars and meetings of the first week have already blown me away and I can feel myself developing a sense of the NYC scene for parent infant work. On the one hand, it's not so far from our UK system in that there are key professionals moving and shaking (like psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists) all with a clear dedication to infants.  And, as with the UK we are all setting up interesting pieces of work, developing research projects and training and offering support to frontline staff.  On the other hand, it is everything different from our system.  The lack of statutory provision in the US means plenty of room for individuality, innovation and movements toward social change - together with an essential requirement for the New Yorkers famed networking abilities.

Dr Jeanette Sawyer Cohen on Saturday 5th November, 2016, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

For this networking, I am indebted to Dr Jeanette Sawyer Cohen taking me under her wing and introducing me to this scene.  She is actually an angel, disguised as a clinical psychologist and has an in depth understanding of this field on top of that.  So, here she is. (see also twitter @motherhoodbk) Turns out, even if Dr Jeanette doesn't know a famous parent infant New Yorker, she will know someone who does.  Thank you Dr J!

2 thoughts on “The scene of #parentinfantNYNY

    1. DrKT

      Well that is interesting and something I am still learning about!
      It seems it is a mixture of state funded grants (which have to be applied for and vary state to state depending on how progressive the thinking of those in office) and 'philanthropy'. It can be very piecemeal so organisations are existing without security of sustainable funding or it can be that a philanthropic organisation takes you on and you are set up for the long-term. Either way, very different.
      The best one I heard about so far was today when I visited the 'Babies Can't Wait' program over on Long Island in the Institute for Parenting. Here the criminal prosecution service is directly funding some of the parent baby work with families where parents have committed non-violent crimes. Why? Because they know that babies who have parents who commit a crime are more often than not exposed to trauma in some way. This is preventative work! The funds that the criminal prosecution service have are accumulated from the city revenue by things like parking fines and standard random stuff that a council would charge for. Now, if Brighton and Hove could use revenue like this for something preventative and useful that would be good. Instead it seems that infant mental health is not yet seen as a public health issue.
      Finally, and this has turned into a long answer (!) I would say that my impression is there is some irony right now: Obama's excellent policies moving the U.S in the direction of our NHS and meanwhile our valuable NHS (the 'starving beast' my economist colleague here calls it) becoming subject to free market forces.


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