New ‘Safe Baby Court Program’ aims to help drug-dependent babies

Local News

PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – The old saying “it takes a village to help raise a child” is now being taken literally in Portsmouth, Ohio when caring for drug-dependent infants.

Cities like Portsmouth have been hit hard by the opioid crisis. Fortunately, there are resources available to those who are currently struggling or have struggled in the past with addiction.

The city is now expanding these services to allow people to step in and help those who were born drug dependent.

The “Safe Baby Court” Program is funded by federal grants and is aimed at helping babies from ages 0 to 3 who have been exposed to drugs like opioids. This targeted age will experience 85% brain growth and with the right resources, to prioritize healthy development through volunteers in the program.

Along with professional help, a portion of the services will be volunteer-based and can be as simple as offering transportation.

This group of volunteers will be a part of the “Active Community Team” who will meet once a month to discuss meeting the needs of the children and their families.

They said we need active community members, people who have something that they can offer this program.

Edwin Martell, Portsmouth 5th Ward City Councilman

The program’s community coordinator Jordan Davis says other counties across the U.S. with the same program have seen the number of families re-entering into drug court significantly decrease. The city is hoping the program will do the same for families in their area.

Statistically it sounds like this program is successful, so we just hope to provide all we can for these families so they can have a better future.

Jordan Davis, Safe Baby Court Program Community Coordinator

Davis also says, overall, the program will help bring these families back together and help nurture permanent placement to avoid moving the children from home to home while the parents go through rehabilitation.

They will not be taking in families until March or April. During that time, the group will be building their teams. If you’re interested in volunteering your services, you can contact Jordan Davis at jordan.davis@sciotocounty.net or by phone at 740-464-8449.

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