by Jet Turner, Wings of Hope, Marketing & Communications Manager
Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services is delighted to announce our services are expanding with the addition of the Safe Babies Court Team, previously with Resilient Payne County, to our agency.
Resilient Payne County submitted the Zero to Three Infant Toddler Court Program Community Capacity grant because they believe this evidence-based program will help mitigate adverse childhood experiences and have a very positive impact on maltreated infants, toddlers and their families in Payne County.
“The ultimate goal and genuine success of the Infant Toddler Court Program (ITCP) in Payne County is that a child is placed in a safe home in the best parenting situation. Our vision is that as ITPC grows in Payne County, we will see significant differences in abuse rates and time to permanency with the ITPC baby cases compared to past traditional court cases.” said Resilient Payne President Carolynn MacAllister.
Resilient Payne County has worked with Judge Michael Kulling, Assistant District Attorney Brenda Nipp, DHS District 9 Director Justin Hoenshell and Community Coordinator Victoria Carney-Peters on the development of the program in Payne County.
“Resilient Payne County has been honored to work with the leadership team and the Payne County community to develop and launch the ITCP in April 2021,” MacAllister said. “We are thrilled to pass the responsibility of the community authorizing agency role to Wings of Hope and the exceptional leadership of Mark Howard.”
Every six minutes an infant or toddler is removed from home due to alleged abuse or neglect. These children are usually placed in the child welfare system, which is often harmful to their development. The ZERO TO THREE Safe Babies Court Team works tirelessly to find these children permanency as quickly as possible.
Zero to three is a critical time in a child's development. It is where they are learning to communicate, process information and, most importantly, where they are learning to love and be loved. However, many children do not have a safe, stable place to develop these skills because their parents are products of the system themselves. This program is about wrapping around parents with as many supports as possible to get them back on their feet. The Safe Babies Court Team is designed to stop generational trauma and build happy, successful futures for young children.
Victoria Carney-Peters will be the Safe Babies Court Advocate for the team under Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services.
"I am so grateful that Wings of Hope has extended their organization to house Safe Babies,” Carney-Peters said. “This is a pivotal program that will make a great impact on the lives of families and children in our community. We could not do this without Wings of Hope’s help!"
Our mission at Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services is to break the cycle of interpersonal violence by providing safety, hope and empowerment to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The Safe Babies Court Team helps provide this safety, hope and empowerment not only to parents, but to their children as well.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Resilient Payne County on this project,” said Mark Howard, Wings of Hope Executive Director. “Carolynn MacAllister has done Payne County a tremendous service by putting the program together, and we want to do our part to ensure the program continues to grow.
“The safe babies court team allows the most vulnerable among us to thrive and receive permanency, and we are privileged to be a part of the process.”
Learn more at www.wingsofhopeok.com. Wings of Hope is one of 22 partner agencies of the United Way of Payne County, which invests donated dollars to support the mission of each partner agency.