There are dozens of fabulous online resources available to parents that offer free authoritative advice and guidance designed to optimize family life for children and for themselves. One of the most valuable and reliable generators of direction and comfort for families is the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Started in 1948, it publishes the latest news, data and research that can present parents and caregivers with encouragement and information for making decisions that can lead to happy, healthy and successful families.
As the site explains:
There is something for every family on the Foundation’s website, including guidance for new parents with infants and for established families with teens, and all the ages and phases in between. It offers 42 different topics that could be relevant to your family’s situation and challenges, ranging from adoption to child poverty, to tax guidance, immigration, racial equity and inclusion, and even two-generation approaches (e.g. children and their kids living with grands).
Parents can search for news, presentations, publications, videos and webinars. One of my favorite free resources on the site (and they are ALL free) is the “Kids Count Data Book,” which is issued every summer. This downloadable booklet contains various indexes of child well-being for every state and territory in the U.S., scientific data, and expert analysis and advice.
Curious about how we in America compare to the rest of the world in matters of quality of care for members of the next generation, I researched what kinds of resources might be available elsewhere. As one of the richest countries in the world, the U.S. still has problems with supporting families and kids, so I wondered how developing countries supported their family units. I found some limited comparisons with fully developed countries, however, data on family and child welfare is limited (and I’m guessing resources are limited, too) from places with much less material wealth.
Certainly there are other agencies and non-profits that can support your family and larger community, but with limited time available, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a great first choice for finding help quickly and efficiently.
Our three children are in their 40s now, but back when they were being born every two years, back when we had two in diapers for what seemed to be forever, back when our two boys’ and a girl’s various talents and uniquenesses began to emerge, we certainly could have used expert and experienced professionals to hold our hands.
It’s okay to ask for help.