ACS New Parent Support Program: Guiding Military Families Through the Journey of Parenthood

By Bryan SpannApril 11, 2024

ACS New Parent Support Program: Guiding Military Families Through the Journey of Parenthood
A mother interacts with her child during the Romp and Stomp playgroup which provides interaction, education, and socialization for parents and children. (Photo Credit: Bryan Spann) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Expecting a baby or navigating the whirlwind of parenthood with an infant or child up to 3 years old can evoke a myriad of questions and concerns. However, for military families, Army Community Service (ACS) New Parent Support Program offers a beacon of support and guidance.

Part of the ACS Family Advocacy Program, the New Parent Support Program provides invaluable assistance to new military parents, facilitating a seamless transition into parenthood while fostering a nurturing environment for their children, all at no cost.

Comprising a dedicated team of nurses, social workers, and home visitation specialists, the program offers an array of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of military families. From parenting classes to interactive playgroups and comprehensive referrals to additional resources, the program is committed to equipping parents with the tools and knowledge essential for effective child-rearing.

A cornerstone of the New Parent Support Program is its personalized in-home visitations. "During the home visit, we come out and we educate the parents, depending on their needs," explained Maria Baez, a licensed parent support social worker. "Some people might just need post-partum information, some may require breastfeeding support, as well as guidance on understanding child development milestones."

Notably, the program extends its support to expectant mothers, with regular visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the designated parent hospital. Valentina Eronini, a registered nurse and the New Parent Support Group Team Lead, emphasized the importance of pre-birth education, stating, "We want to ensure that people are equipped with the necessary knowledge to navigate parenthood from pregnancy up to three years of age." For Marines, this support extends up to five years.

For those seeking guidance or assistance, the New Parent Support Group can be reached at the Family Advocacy Program Center, located at 2462 85th Medical Bn Avenue. Contact them at (301) 677-4117/5809 to embark on your journey to confident and informed parenthood.