Babyland Family Services Inc.

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About Us
The history of Babyland Family Services Inc. began after the summer disorders of 1967 in Newark, New Jersey. Mary Palmer Smith, the mother of four children herself, led a coalition of suburban and inner-city housewives, calling themselves Operation Housewives, to advocate for low-income parents who did not have access to child care. This coalition of women, along with a $1,000.00 loan from the Telephone Pioneers of America, thrift shop sales, Girl Scouts, volunteers, and pediatrician, established Babyland Nursery as the first and largest nonprofit interracial infant childcare program in the state of New Jersey in August 1969.
Currently, Babyland offers child and family development programs which, through its age-appropriate curricula and certified caregivers, teachers and counselor, enhance the emotional, social, physical, and intellectual development of over 400 children (who's ages range from three months to 13 years) and families at 5 facilities. All childcare centers offer convenient full-day services, nutritional programs, and vital health services. In addition, Babyland offers a child development and parent education program for numerous abused and neglected children and their parents.
Babyland established one of the nation's first childcare programs for infants and toddlers infected and affected by AIDS and the HIV virus in 1989. As the first childcare facility in the state of New Jersey for these particularly vulnerable children, the program filled a critical gap in providing child development and family support services for the children and their overburdened families.
The Babyland Domestic Violence Shelter, established in 1979 as Essex County's first family violence program,
provides 24 hour crisis intervention, shelter, counseling, legal and housing advocacy, and community education for victims of family violence, In addition, the program provides counseling for batterers to prevent the cycle of violence and also training for response teams to better intervene on behalf of victims.
Consistent with it's mission to strengthen family life and provide permanency for children, Babyland established in 1993 the Children Together Foster Care Program-another first in the County of Essex. In partnership with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, the program keeps sibling children, who are separated from their parents, together and protects them from abuse or neglect. Siblings are later placed in homes where parents are recruited and trained by Babyland staff. Together, in stable foster home environments, they are either placed in adoption or later reunited with their natural parents or a biological of their family.
Babyland has established a group home for siblings in crisis and has successfully recruited, trained and retained over 135 resources, or foster, parents. the Infant Care Program, an extension of our foster care services, removes boarder babies, infants who have been either abandoned or taken into protective custody, from hospitals. Babyland places these infants with nurturing and loving resource parents and strives to reunite them with natural parents or a biological member of their family.
Today Babyland Family Services, Inc. is:
  • The largest provider of infant childcare services for working men and women in the Essex County, with over 300 babies in its care.
  • The largest community-based provider of foster care services in Essex County, with over 300 children and over 135 resource family homes; and
  • The largest provider of domestic violence shelter and hotline and support services for victims of domestic violence in Essex County, serving well over 500 women and children each year.
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