June 10, 2013 - Champions for Children Achieves Prestigious National “Touchpoints” Partner Designation

Champions for Children has achieved a National Partner Designation by the prestigious Brazelton Touchpoints Center®, making it only one of two community based organizations in the state of Florida to reach National Partner status.

Tampa, FL – Over one million of Florida’s children and families have taken part in Champions for Children’s life-changing, and even life-saving, programs and services since 1977. Thirty-five years later, the thriving, family-focused organization is celebrating a new and very significant milestone: Champions for Children has achieved a National Partner Designation by the prestigious Brazelton Touchpoints Center®, making it only one of two community based organizations in the state of Florida to reach National Partner status.

What is Touchpoints and what makes its upcoming presence throughout Florida significant?

Touchpoints is a groundbreaking, evidence-based approach to child development. It is based on more than sixty years of research conducted by T. Berry Brazelton, MD (pictured), and his colleagues at Children’s Hospital in Boston and in communities worldwide. Dr. Brazelton, Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development and is the author of over 200 scholarly papers and forty books on pediatrics, child development, and parenting, which have been translated into more than twenty languages.

The Touchpoints approach is taught to anyone dealing with young families, including educators, nurses, healthcare professionals and social workers.

“Touchpoints is about strengthening parent and caregiver confidence through learning and practicing positive observation and interaction,” explains Ann Stadtler, DNP, RN, CPNP, Director of Site Development and Training for Brazelton Touchpoints Center®. “At the same time, it ensures professionals receive the support needed to get ‘into parents’ shoes’ to understand why they make the decisions they make. Touchpoints is a how…not a what.”

(PICTURED: Champions for Children's Touchpoints Program Trainers with Brazelton Touchpoints Center’s Founder, T. Berry Brazelton, MD (from left to right) Latoya Randolph, April Beck, T. Berry Brazelton, MD and Tricia Eisner)

Tampa’s Champions for Children and Touchpoints

Patricia Pead, Director of Champions for Children’s Baby Bungalow program, learned about Touchpoints in 2004 and instantly knew the approach would be hugely beneficial for Tampa Bay ‘s families. Fast forward to 2013: A significant financial commitment made by principle funding partner, Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring, is enabling the agency to train professional teams and integrate Touchpoints within each Champions for Children program. The funds also allow for the creation of the sustainability plan needed to maintain Touchpoints in Tampa Bay for years to come. “For me, it’s all about the families. I get emotional, because it once felt like a pipe dream to bring Touchpoints to Champions for Children. But it’s a reality now,” exclaims Pead.

Touchpoints will be taught in every Champions for Children program. The agency has appointed a core training team of three to roll out the program and plans on adding additional trainers later in the year,” says Stadtler. “In fact,” she adds, “Champions for Children may also become an umbrella organization for Touchpoints over multiple Tampa Bay area organizations. The unique story is, this community is truly investing, at every level, to ensure Tampa Bay’s children have the best outcomes in life, starting sometimes before birth. Champions for Children is the right organization to deliver Touchpoints and we are incredibly proud to call them a National Partner.”

Champions for Children’s Executive Director, Brian McEwen shares, “We want children to grow up, reaching their full potential and we know their emotional environments are what have the biggest impact on their development. Touchpoints will allow us to come alongside parents during moments of vulnerability,” McEwen explains. “In each of our programs, participants will learn new ways of thinking and adopt attitudes focusing on parents’ strengths, rather than on the ‘should and should nots.’ Our agency’s dedication to Touchpoints means our entire community has a chance of better understanding child development, while learning to effectively support other families. We are elated to have received this critical national designation.”

Media Opportunities: The media is invited to interview Champions for Children staff and participants, by request.  Contact Julie Robbins at [email protected] or at (813) 448-7717.

About Champions for Children: Established in 1977, Champions for Children (CFC) has provided assistance to thousands of families throughout Hillsborough County using education, prevention techniques and treatment programs. In 2011 alone, CFC served approximately 40,000 children and families. CFC’s mission is to build stronger families in the Tampa Bay Region through child abuse prevention and family education programs. They believe that establishing strong family units is vital to our community. As Hillsborough County ranks sixth in the state of Florida for number of reported incidences of abuse and neglect, CFC is committed to providing services that help strengthen families and stop the cycle of abuse. CFC is located at 3108 West Azeele Street in Tampa, 33609. For more information about their programs and other upcoming events, please visit their website at www.championsforchildrentampabay.org.