Select Page

Bridging the Word Gap 3.0

Community Partner #4:

Connecting the Dots: A 2-Gen Hospital to Community Intervention for Improving Early Childhood Literacy and Family Economic Stability 


Jennifer Stapel-Wax and Susan Brasher


The Connecting the Dots (CTD) pilot project is a three-year, two generation (2-Gen) effort to identify and implement effective intervention strategies for families that will support them on their journeys towards long-term educational attainment and economic stability. Central components of the intervention are direct family coaching via trained family navigators, home visits, multidisciplinary team coordination, quarterly goal setting, direct and indirect resources to support goal attainment, and planned incentives for assessments. Specific organizations providing resources to Fulton County residents will be engaged to provide an array of supports to families to facilitate early language development and economic stability.  Organizations that are specifically partnering with CTD include Powerful Families Program at the Black Child Development Institute, First Steps Staffing, Goodwill Industries of North Georgia and Atlanta Technical College. The intervention will begin at the onset or within the third trimester of pregnancy and will continue until the infant reaches 24 months of age.  Families will be engaged continuously in active goal-related activities and measurement of outcomes. Families may cease the coaching intervention but remain in the study for purposes of periodic assessment prescribed in the protocol. Goal progress will be discussed on at least a quarterly basis (every 3 months) with the families involved. Coaching will be a hybrid enlisting resources of motivational interviewing, appreciative inquiry and Family Centered Coaching along with Talk With Me Baby (TWMB). 


Population Targeted:

This study will involve expectant families who reside in Fulton County, GA who are receiving prenatal care at Grady Memorial Hospital. The initial focus of this project are pregnant mothers who live in the target catchment of zip codes (30315, 30344, 30354), receive prenatal care at Grady Memorial Hospital and deliver their infant(s) at Grady Memorial Hospital. After delivery, the mothers and their infants will both be the focus of the project and the recipients of the project resources.  


Research Objective:

We propose that by 1) extending TWMB family coaching beyond the perinatal experience at Grady Hospital; 2) providing education, coaching and tangible resources through a structured goal-planning process with a multi-disciplinary team; and 3) strengthening family-hospital-community connections, families will receive the support needed to demonstrate measurable gains in early childhood language development and economic stability. This study aims to measure the impact of providing personal coaching and goal setting, along with direct resources and coordination of community programs on the economic mobility of families. Results of this study are intended to inform existing literature on effective 2-Gen interventions and will be utilized to propose an expanded intervention and study to identify the most salient factors leading to replicability and sustainability.