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WellConnect - Columbus Regional Health

Caring Parents


To promote healthy, safe relationships between parents and children in Bartholomew County.

Caring Parents works throughout Bartholomew County to support new families through home visits, in-hospital education and community presentations.

Home Visits:

Caring Parents is a free home visit program that provides new parents access to current information and resources relevant to parenting and their child's social, emotional and cognitive growth. Volunteers present a pediatrician-designed curriculum during visits at ages 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Topics include infant care, nutrition, crying, home safety, child development and activities. The volunteers reinforce the curriculum by taking health and safety gifts to each visit and provide:

  • Emotional support and encouragement
  • Promotion of strong parent-child bonds
  • Education on the stages of child development
  • Tips on stress reduction and parenting skills
  • The latest news in infant care and safety
  • Resource referral

Crying Education

Crying education is provided to parents, family members and visitors of babies born at Columbus Regional Hospital. The parents receive a free copy of the book ABC: All Babies Cry and are educated about Shaken Baby Syndrome and how to cope with a crying infant. In the community, similar presentations are provided to groups and organizations. The impact of this work is evidenced by the fact that since beginning this program in late 2003 there have been zero incidences of Shaken Baby Syndrome resulting in injuries or deaths in Bartholomew County.

How Can You Help?

  • Become a home visit volunteer: If you have just 1-2 hours per month to volunteer, you can make a difference by helping families grow together in healthy ways. Volunteers learn new skills and how to handle challenges during the training sessions. If you would like to give back to the community and feel a sense of accomplishment by working with babies and new parents, please contact us for additional information.
  • Join a Caring Parents Special Events Committee: Annual events include the "Don't Shake" Run/Walk and Family Service Family Fest. 
  • Arrange speaking engagements: Caring Parents offers a presentation on Shaken Baby Prevention that is adaptable for babysitting clubs, community groups, businesses, scout troops, school classes and other organizations. By explaining normal infant crying and showing ways to cope, the presentations help people understand how they can help foster positive parent-child relationships within their own and their friends' families. 
  • Promote and help sell Caring Parents merchandise including jewelry (bracelets and earrings) and the book ABC: All Babies Cry. The book is available for purchase at Viewpoint Books or directly from Caring Parents; jewelry is at New to You, Columbus Visitor's Center, special events or also directly from Caring Parents. 
  • Donate items or funds:  Handmade bibs and burp cloths are always welcome as are board books and door prize items. Financial donations can be made through the Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation, the Family Service Endowment through the Heritage Fund, or checks can be mailed directly to the Caring Parents office.
  • Join the Caring Parents Action Team (quarterly meetings).

Action Team Members

  • Carol Dingledy, staff
  • Anita Burton
  • Margie Campbell
  • Jim Holland
  • Bill Lentz
  • Shelley McAlister
  • Beth Morris
  • Audrey Tyree
  • Julie Miller, staff
  • Bonnie Smith
  • Tim Jarnagin
  • Jeff Crouse
  • Cathy Shehan, staff
  • Brenda Sullivan

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contact information

Carol Dingledy
812-372-5367 fax

Caring Parents is located in the United Way Center on 13th Street.
Our mailing address is PO Box 1002, Columbus, IN 47202