Improving the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Parents
MEE developed and implemented a social marketing campaign to promote Children’s Futures, a Trenton, NJ-based collaborative working together to improve the lives of infants, toddlers and parents. The campaign targeted low-income caregivers (ages 18-35) of children under age six and dealt with real-life issues such as effective parenting, job training and referrals, instructions on breast feeding, immunizations and early literacy, help in finding child care and health coverage and much more. Campaign activities centered on grassroots outreach and raising awareness through transit advertising and a series of Chat & Chews with local CBOs. A focus of MEE’s was to promote the four Parent/Child Centers in the city, along with a Father Center that helps fathers better connect or reconnect with their children.
In addition to the social marketing campaign, MEE conducted focus groups with existing and potential clients of Children’s Futures. Many low-income Trenton parents lack a network of positive social relationships with people and institutions that could help them and their families in times of specific need. Children’s Futures wanted to understand what barriers prevent these networks from developing.
Talking with African-American, single parents between 18 and 35, MEE explored topic areas that could contribute to creating a healthy environment for newborns and young children in Trenton. They included child health and wellness, education, teen pregnancy, prenatal care, child development and domestic violence. Data from the focus groups provided Children’s Futures with the perspectives of Trenton parents on personal, family and community needs. It also provided a better understanding of how to improve access to support services, both from the perspective of those who were already accessing these services and those who were not.