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Room to Grow Supports Families

Room to Grow is proud to participate in Pregnancy Awareness Month. Like PAM, Room to Grow recognizes that every new parent wants the best possible start for their child. Room to Grow is dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of life.

How We Work Parents expecting a baby are referred to Room to Grow by selected prenatal programs serving low-income families throughout New York City and Boston. Upon their referral, parents visit Room to Grow’s warm and inviting space every three months from just before the birth of their baby until their child turns three. During their one-on-one appointments with a social worker, typically lasting two hours, clients receive parenting information and support to ensure their child’s healthy and secure start in life. They also select new and nearly new clothing, toys, books, and other baby essentials, free of charge.

Addressing a Crucial Need Room to Grow recognizes that every parent raising a child in the earliest years needs information, support, and all the essential items for their growing baby, and, of course, that every child deserves the opportunity to have basic needs met, to learn and grow, and to reach his or her fullest potential. Research on brain development shows that early experiences and relationships deeply influence social, emotional, intellectual, motor and language development. Room to Grow helps to ensure that this early foundation is secure, giving a child a greater opportunity to develop, thrive, and lead a happy and productive life.

Room to Grow works with parents in poverty, who, like all parents, want to provide the best possible start in life for their children. When these parents first come to Room to Grow, they are often overwhelmed by the demands of a new baby. Over their time in the program, they become more confident in their ability to support their children, whether by learning ways to meet their infant’s emotional needs, setting limits for their toddler, or by obtaining stimulating toys, warm clothing, and books to read.

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Room to Grow Program Facts

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* Founded in 1998 in New York City by social worker Julie Burns to address a lack of direct support services to poor parents raising children in their very earliest years. * Serves low income parents with children from birth to three years. Each child remains in the program for a full three years. * Clients are referred to Room to Grow from 21 prenatal programs throughout New York City and twelve in Boston. * Our caseload has increased by 62% since 2008, and we now enroll 340 children in the program in New York and are growing our caseload in Boston from 200 to 350. * Our clients have extreme financial need. Nearly all are eligible for subsidized prenatal care and have income below 200% of the federal poverty level (about $35,000/year for a family of three).

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