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OhioGuidestone’s Institute of Family and Community Impact Continues Advocating Despite Pandemic

Logo for the Institute of Family and Community Impact (IFCI) who continues advocating for families despite the covid pandemic

The Institute of Family and Community Impact (IFCI), OhioGuidestone’s center of excellence for clinical research and quality performance, has remained committed to advocating for the individuals the agency serves and their communities, even throughout this global pandemic. Among IFCI’s recent highlights are several trail blazing initiatives.

Father’s Feelings Study Expansion

Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), the Ohio chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, awarded IFCI additional grant dollars to expand the groundbreaking Father’s Feelings study into Southeast Ohio.

“Becoming a new dad can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time,” said Lindsay Williams, OCTF’s Executive Director “However, most people don’t think about providing postpartum support for fathers.”

The Father’s Feelings study is responsive to the needs of dads with infants under one year old. It combines short questionnaires, used to facilitate casual conversations about new dads’ experiences, and father-centered brief study visits designed to improve caretaking strengths and parent child relationships. This includes utilization of the agency’s proprietary play-based research model, Joyful Together®, which lowers parental stress and increases childhood resiliency through playing games.

Presenting at AMCHP 2021

The IFCI team will present and discuss the Joyful Together® clinical innovation and the Father’s Feelings project at the national conference of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in May. AMCHP focuses on work connected to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

To date, IFCI has sent out more than 100 copies of the free, proprietary telehealth phone tool the agency developed for behavioral health providers.

The team has received requests from clinicians across the country, from California to Connecticut. Meanwhile, the team has also revved up their research activities in this remote environment, thanks to OhioGuidestone’s Web Developer, Trinity Hinton, and the new online Research Portal. Currently, three major studies are underway at IFCI.

Addressing Toxic Stress of Poverty and Racism

IFCI recently published a white paper titled Preventing Harm and Deaths from Racism and Poverty: The Need to Eradicate Sources of Toxic Stress in Communities to Improve Public Health.

Racism and poverty are two major drivers of toxic stress, which harms families and communities across the United States. This stress can lead to a large number of adverse health effects and outcomes, particularly in children, causing long-term health issues and even reducing life expectancy.

To read all of the IFCI white papers, please visit: www.familyandcommunityimpact.org/white-papers.

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The Institue of Family and Community Impact