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Erikson’s Fussy Baby Network® is partnering with Healthy Families Illinois to support high-risk families throughout the state — and around the country.

Over the next four years, Fussy Baby Network® will work with Healthy Families Illinois to develop and implement training for its home visiting staff based on the Fussy Baby approach to dealing with challenging infant behaviors, such as crying, difficulty sleeping, and feeding.

“Infant crying can stress any family and increase the risk for child abuse,” says Linda Gilkerson, executive director of the Fussy Baby Network® and Erikson professor. “This partnership gives Healthy Families America® home visitors another way to connect with families and help them at a difficult time.”

After being piloted in Illinois, the training may be added to the national curriculum of Healthy Families America®.

About the project

The trainings will initially focus on home visitors who work with high-risk families in Joliet and the Chicago neighborhood of North Lawndale, before expanding to other Chicago neighborhoods and Illinois cities selected based on a state needs assessment.

As part of the project, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a research and policy center, will conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Fussy Baby training. The findings will help improve the trainings before they are incorporated into the national curriculum of Healthy Families America®.

The partnership is supported by $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the competitive Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting expansion grant program. The state of Illinois received a total of $19 million, which also supports expansion of the Ounce of Prevention’s doula home visiting model.

Learn more about Fussy Baby Network training and consultation by contacting Gilkerson at (312) 893-7138 or [email protected].