Raising St. Louis follows all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and all program connections are made virtually or through proper social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital is not only a world-class choice for parents seeking medical care for infants, children, and adolescents, it invests in children’s lives away from the hospital setting. The Raising St. Louis program is one of the ways in which the hospital extends its reach into the St. Louis community.
What is Raising St. Louis?
Raising St. Louis connects with mothers, fathers and other family members to help build and sustain the family unit, reduces the high infant mortality rate, promotes literacy and increases access to health care. Any woman or family who lives within an identified 22 zip code area and is pregnant, or has a child up to age 4, is eligible to participate, at zero cost to the participant.
All Raising St. Louis parent educators are Parents as Teachers-certified and make in-home visits for a range of services, from monitoring a child’s development to making family-centered assessments and goal setting. During each visit, participants receive an individual assessment by a healthcare provider, participate in self-care activities, and get prenatal and child education through age 4.
Nurses for Newborns sends specially trained pediatric nurses to participants’ homes to monitor the infant’s health, developmental progress, and the family’s progress. Proper prenatal care improves health outcomes of pregnant women and newborns, and generally decreases the total cost of medical care during pregnancy. Services are provided as needed and may be up to two years after the infant’s birth.
Community Health Workers (CHW) are the liaison between health, social services, and the community. The CHW connects RSTL parents to a wide variety of resources and they start by assessing the parent's barriers to determine the resources needed. They create meaningful relationships with their clients to provide the finest high-quality care.
The RSTL Social Worker provides mental health support to parents and caregivers through trauma-informed care and active listening. The Social Worker connects with program participants to strengthen coping skills and help manage stress. Additionally, they facilitate a weekly virtual support group for mothers.
RSTL also offers a Male Engagement program which is based upon the 24/7 Dad® curriculum. The curriculum is designed to equip fathers with the self-awareness, compassion, and sense of responsibility that every good parent needs. The Male Engagement program also offers outreach activities such as barber shop tours that focus on wellness checkups. And our Locker Room Chats provide fellowship among men while playing basketball. Finally, our program partners with the St. Louis Justice Center where we offer those incarcerated the opportunity to become better men and fathers by following the curriculum.
What Does Raising St. Louis Offer?
Raising St. Louis services:
- Brings you services from Nurses for Newborns and Parents as Teachers through visits to your home or other convenient location.
- Provides CHW to reduce the burden of social determinants of health by being an advocate of community and social services connecting you to the resources you need.
- Provides a Social Worker that focuses on human and behavioral health services.
- Invites you to meet and connect with other parents and share experiences.
- Provides you at times with diapers and other childcare items.
- Gives you important information about health, safety and child development.
- Performs exams to make sure your child is healthy and safe.
- Shares with you effective parenting skills and tips.
- Helps you understand your child and his or her unique development.
- Helps you find the resources your family needs when they need them.
The program also offers monthly parent support group meetings, Family Connections, where participants connect with other parents and receive help with navigating additional health and social services.
As an incentive to maintain regular home visits, families receive Kids Kash which can be used during the monthly group meetings to purchase such items as diapers, car seats, baby supplies, books, toys and other items to make caring for their baby a little easier.
Raising St. Louis Community Hubs
The Raising St. Louis program introduced community hubs to provide direct services in communities as an extension of the hospital. Community hubs are multi-purposed. They are used to conduct family visits, host events tailored to meet the needs of neighboring community members, and to introduce area residents to a wide variety of social services that are available to them. Hosted events range from male engagement classes to on-site job interview opportunities, and everything in between.
In 2018, Raising St. Louis opened its first community hub through a partnership with the Jennings School District to utilize space inside the Gore Community Center, which is owned by the school district. It is located in north St. Louis County in the 63136 zip code where many Raising St. Louis participants reside. Along with a dedicated space, the building offers the opportunity to use a sizable multi-purpose room to hold large events. In 2019, the team was excited to host Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson who toured the hub and learned first-hand about the program.
A second hub opened on January 7, 2020, and is located in the Christian Hospital Northwest medical office building, in the 63031 zip code. This hub location provides an opportunity to expand the reach of the hospital and support neighboring communities with Raising St. Louis’ family-centered services that help bridge health and social disparity gaps and enhance the quality of life for children and their families.
In February of 2021, we added the New Northside community hub, which is located in the 63147 zip code. Due to COVID-19 the hub's official opening was postponed until November, 2021. Our third hub is adjacent to the New Northside Baptist Church that is considered a pillar in the area. This space serves and helps to bridge health and social disparity gaps for both St. Louis city and county residents.
In 2022, we opened our newest community hub at the Delmar DivINe. This area is a social and highly innovative place where many non-profit organizations come together to collaborate and improve approaches to better serve our community.
Raising St. Louis Partners
Raising St. Louis enjoys an affiliation relationship with Parents as Teachers which certifies its Parent Educators and partners with Nurses for Newborns to provide in-home nursing visits to families in the program. The following are collaborative partners: BJC HealthCare, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, Affinia Healthcare, CareSTL Health, Family Care Health Centers, Fathers’ Support Center of St. Louis, Goldfarb School of Nursing, Generate Health, People’s Health Centers, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis Diaper Bank, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work, St. Louis Justice Center, and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.