October 28, 2014

Click for Babies Campaign

Click for Babies Campaign photo 2014

The parents of newborns at Waldo County General Hospital and Penobscot Bay Medical Center will be receiving hand knit purple hats for their babies during the month of November and December as part of the Click For Babies campaign. This effort was organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome who connected with states that had infant abuse prevention programs and had the capacity to implement local campaigns.  Currently Maine is one of 14 states and two Canadian provinces participating in this effort.

Patrick Walsh, Child Abuse and Neglect Council coordinator at Broadreach Family & Community services says that for the fourth year of this project he is once again “overwhelmed” with the response and marvels at the variety of hats that have been donated, more than 112 for Waldo and Knox counties at this point.  Eighteen knitters from Waldoboro, to Pittsfield, to Bucksport have generously donated their time and materials to ensure that each precious baby born at our hospitals in November and December will receive a beautiful, lovingly crafted hat.  The “click” in the “Click for Babies” title refers to the clicking sound of the knitting needles as the hats are created.

Along with the hats, parents will receive an information package titled The Period of PURPLE Crying that provides those parents with important information about their newborn.   PURPLE is an acronym that helps to inform parents that: P is for Peak of Crying – “your baby may cry more each week with the most at 2 months then less at 3 to 5 months. U is for Unexpected – “crying can come and go and you don’t know why”. R is for Resists Soothing – “your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try”. P is for Pain-like face – “a crying baby may look like they are in pain even when they are not”.  L is for Long Lasting – “crying can last as much as 5 hours a day or more”.  E is for Evening – “your baby may cry more in the late afternoon or evening.”

Research tells us that children are vulnerable during this period to being shaken by a stressed out caregiver who feels frustrated that they cannot understand their child’s apparent discomfort and can do nothing to soothe them. In the past we may have attributed this crying and apparent pain to “colic”, and equated that with a medical condition. Research shows that this type of crying is “normal” and reduces over time.

Walsh says that “this is one small but significant effort that communities can take to ensure the well-being of its young children.”

For more information or to find out how you can be involved in Click For Babies, contact Walsh at Broadreach Family & Community Services at 338-2200 ext 109 or pwalsh@brmaine.org.



October 6, 2014

Long Time Advocate Patrick Walsh Awarded Professional of the Year

Patrick Walsh

A special annual event hosted by the Maine Children’s Trust was held to honor the organization and individuals in the State of Maine who have demonstrated their dedication and expertise in the field of the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Patrick Walsh, Director of Prevention Services for Broadreach Family & Community Services was awarded the 2014  Professional Advocate.

In honoring Patrick Walsh,Broadreach Executive Director Kate Quinn Finlay shared, ““Patrick is a bona fide example of living true to his professional and personal standards of always walking the talk in the sincere belief in the strength of each individual, diversity, and protection of each child in our community. He takes this a step further by advocating and leading positive change in our community.  This takes not only expertise, which he researches on a local and national level, but a committed belief and the devotion of long hours to promote this change.  He is fearless and compassionate in his work.”

Patrick Walsh has worked and volunteered in the field of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention for over 37 years, the past 15 as Director of Prevention Services at Broadreach Family & Community Services. He is a tireless advocate for children and youth as is demonstrated by his dedication to serving the children and families of mid-coast Maine and beyond.Prior to working at Broadreach, Patrick served as an Ombudsman at Waldo County Committee for Social Action (1977/78), Victim/Witness Advocate for Waldo and Knox Counties (1979 to 1986), Director of Waldo County Child and Parent Council (1987 to 1990); and Prosecutorial Assistant for Knox County (1990 to 1999).

Patrick has coordinated Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Councils (CAN) for Waldo and Knox counties, is a member of the Maine Association of Child Abuse Prevention Councils, served as member of Healthy Waldo County in partnership with Waldo County General Hospital, served on the Waldo County Building Communities for Children Coalition since 1999 and helped organize the Greater Waldo Community Network Forums since 2007, has twice Chaired the Waldo County Fund Committee and been a member of the Maine Community Foundation’s Cobe Fund Advisory Committee.  Patrick has served for many years as a board member on the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and represented Maine for two years on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, formerly served as a Waldo County Habitat for Humanity organizational board member and former member of the President & Speaker’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Children and Families.  He is a former member of the Child Welfare Advisory Committee and Midcoast Coalition to Prevent Domestic Abuse.  For several years Patrick has coordinated the “Click for Babies” Campaign in Waldo and Knox counties working with Waldo County General Hospital and Penobscot Bay Medical Center and local volunteer knitters to provide each baby born in November and December with a purple hat and their parents with educational information about the “period of purple crying” that is a natural feature of an infant’s development.  The purpose is to help new parents understand that this is a normal development process and learn coping mechanisms as an effort to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

While at Broadreach, most recently Patrick has:

  • Initiated the Student Intervention and Reintegration Program (SIRP) for at risk youth aged 13 to 18. This is a 12 hour free educational course for teens to help them make healthy choices about the use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Initiated “Raising a Thinking Child”, a program funded by the Maine Children’s Trust. This parent education model has been recognized as an exemplary program by the Strengthening America’s Families Project and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • Been instrumental in offering “Kids First” parent education classes in Waldo County for parents who involved in divorce, separation, or child custody proceedings. Scholarships are available for parents who cannot afford the cost.
  • Offered Parent Education programs in Knox and Waldo County including free classroom-based and on-line Active Parenting Now classes for parents of children aged 5 to 12.
  • Provided free training for professionals regarding Mandated Report of suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • Worked with local police departments, sheriff’s office, and Waldo County Regional. Communication Center to bring an Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program called wTip, an anonymous text-a-tip program to Waldo County providing individuals, including youth, a resource to report. The goal is to intervene before a situation escalates, becoming a danger to youth or others in the community.
  • Presented to a wide range of audiences on topics of child abuse and neglect and substance abuse prevention.

When asked what would be his heart’s desire in his professional life, Patrick responded, “I am hopeful that we can work together to put an end to the maltreatment of children.”

For more information about Child Abuse and Neglect and Substance Abuse Prevention programs and information available through Broadreach, please contact Patrick Walsh at 338-2200 extension 109 or at pwalsh@brmaine.org.

Student Gardeners Are Ready for Fall

YL Farmstand fall 2014

Youthlinks Student Garden Army (SGA) is back at it again with a Fall Farmstand. Stop by for pumpkins, gourds, greens, and more. The Farmstand is at Youthlinks at 420 Broadway in Rockland, Thursdays from, 3:30-4:30 pm. The SGA looks forward to meeting new customers!

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community. For more information concerning Youthlinks please call 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.  For more information about Broadreach please visit http://broadreachmaine.org/.