Voices for Utah Children Launches a Crowdsourced Contest: The Utah New Parents Challenge

18 February 2015 Published in Press Release Archive

4UTparents button picSalt Lake City– Voices for Utah Children is launching a crowdsourced contest on Feb. 19, 2015, encouraging new and expecting parents to answer this question: If a baby expert visited you, what help would you want?

The Utah New Parents Challenge is a contest to find out what types of support new and expecting parents in Utah want the most. It was inspired by a new mother interviewed by the Utah Department of Health who spoke of the importance of a support network: "I would love that,” she said. “I would seriously love it. I don't know anybody.” (Reference A) It got us thinking — what types of support do new and expecting parents want the most? We are launching the Utah New Parent’s Challenge to find out.

The challenge is part of Voices for Utah Children’s campaign urging the Utah Legislature to appropriate ongoing funds to Nurse-Family Partnership to serve high-risk, low-income first-time mothers statewide. ​

By engaging young and expecting parents of Utah, Voices for Utah Children hopes this contest will to raise awareness of the state’s nurse home visiting programs - voluntary community health programs that provide ongoing home visits from a registered nurse to low-income, first-time mothers to provide the support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, promote healthy child development and become more economically self-sufficient. Nurse home visiting programs improve outcomes for both the mother and the child, reducing rates of preterm birth, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and crime. 

Economic analyses have determined that Nurse-Family Partnership provides a return on investment for taxpayers of $2.37 to $5.70 per $1 invested in the program.

“When parents have the support and resources they need, children thrive,” said Terry Haven, Interim Director of Voices for Utah Children. “The Utah New Parents Challenge is our way of asking parents to share their stories so that state decision makers know how to support Utah families.”

The Utah New Parents Challenge is calling on parents to share what type of support they want the most. People from across the state will then vote for their favorites. And here’s the best part: the Utah parent who submits the most popular entry will receive a free night of babysitting, dinner and a movie as a prize.

Through online submissions of videos and photos, parents from all over Utah will share their stories, along with photos and videos,  on an online platform and social media to be viewed, commented and voted on by their fellow Utah parents and residents. Guidelines, rules and sample entries are available at utahchildren.org/4UTparents.

“The Utah New Parent's Challenge is an opportunity to engage the young moms and dads of Utah about how their needs as parents connect to programs that the state provides to its residents," says SparkAction co-founder Thaddeus Ferber. “By sharing their stories with Voices for Utah Children and their peers, parents and professional advocates alike can have their voices amplified and inspire positive action by their state lead decision makers on behalf of all of Utah's children.”

The Utah New Parent’s Challenge will accept entries February 19-March 12, 2015 and the winners will be announced in March.

Enter the contest here: http://bit.ly/4UTparents

Excellent Deseret News coverage of the Utah New Parents Challenge and Utah's home visiting programs

Learn more about the Utah New Parents Challenge and Utah home visiting 

Contact lawmakers about your support for evidence-based home visiting

Resources for spreading the word about the Utah New Parents Challenge

Utah New Parents Challenge printable flier




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Voices for Utah Children works to make Utah a place where all children thrive. We start with one basic question: "Is it good for kids?" At Voices for Utah Children, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. And to achieve this vision, we focus on five key areas that benefit the healthy development of all children. Learn more at utahchildren.org.

SparkAction is a collaborative journalism and advocacy website to mobilize action by and for children and youth. Its stories and action tools help concerned young people and adults get informed and get involved across the full range of issues affecting children, youth and families. For more information, visit sparkaction.org.