Interim Care for Babies
We understand that women and their partners need time and space to make a decision about the future of their family, especially after the recent birth of a child. Placing their newborn in Interim Care allows biological parents to continue counseling to fully explore their options while knowing their baby is being cared for by a nurturing caregiver in a loving home.
Individualized support and counseling for pregnant women and families preparing for adoption are hallmarks of our service. Our Interim Care Providers play an essential role in the work of our organization. No job is more important than caring for and providing a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for a child as his or her biological parents make a plan for the child’s future.
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Volunteer Interim Care Providers care for a newborn baby in their own homes under the guidance and supervision of Spence-Chapin staff. Each Provider family is screened and certified by the organization. A baby may remain in care for several days or several weeks. The Provider is a person who is dependable, nurturing, committed to making a difference in the life of a child and believes in the mission and values of the organization.
Interim Care Providers are required to:
- Provide a safe family atmosphere of acceptance, kindness, and understanding
- Give each infant the attention and care that they need, to promote normal development and attachment
- Document milestones by taking pictures and writing down observations
- Attend trainings quarterly
- Participate, if requested by Spence-Chapin, in any scheduled visitation with birth parents or adoptive parents
- Attend all well-baby visits and medical appointments
- Commitment to care for a newborn baby 24/7 when requested.Consistent availability for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Adults over age 25: all types of households can apply: married or unmarried couples, single persons, LGBTQ persons, and parenting or empty-nest households.
- Commitment to successfully completing Spence-Chapin training and home assessment and maintaining training and licensing requirements throughout the program.
- Interim care families can live within the Spence-Chapin service area of 40 miles from New York City, including Long Island, northern New Jersey, Westchester, the Hudson Valley, all New York City boroughs, and Connecticut.
- Ability to drive the baby to Spence-Chapin’s Manhattan office when requested, often weekly or bi-weekly.
- Families with children under 2 years old in their home will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Interim Care Providers are expected to be respectful, non-judgmental and compassionate in their care of children from all backgrounds. Applicants will have the opportunity to interview with Spence-Chapin staff, and receive training on newborn care, roles and expectations, and other needs of the children.
Interim Care Program featured on ABC News. View here.
Why do babies come to Spence-Chapin and need Interim Care?
Spence-Chapin offers free and unbiased options counseling for biological parents around permanency options for their child. We understand that women and their partners need appropriate time and space to make a decision about the future of their family, especially after a recent birth. Placing their newborn in Interim Care allows biological parents to continue counseling to fully explore their options while knowing their baby is being cared for by a nurturing caregiver in a loving home. Birth parents retain their legal rights while the baby is in care and are encouraged to visit their baby. Our services are free for biological parents while they take the days or even a few weeks to make a decision.
Who are the babies in need of interim care?
The boys and girls are infants, from birth to 8 weeks old. New York City is a racially and ethnically diverse city and we work with expectant parents and their children from diverse ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds.
What makes an ideal Interim Care family?
Interim Care families are able to provide 24/7 care to a newborn and often have one primary care giver who is retired, taking a break from their career, or not employed. All types of households can apply: married or unmarried couples, single persons, LGBTQ persons, and parenting or empty-nest households. One similarity among families is the desire to provide a safe and loving environment for a child before they find their permanent home. Families have open availability throughout the year, they are able to care for an infant when requested by Spence-Chapin staff.
The primary provider must be available around-the-clock with prior parenting or child care experience. Some providers have a background in the health care field. Most babies are healthy and require general newborn care and attention. Other babies require special attention because of neonatal conditions.
All families within the Spence-Chapin service area who are able to provide loving, safe, 24/7 care to a newborn are welcome to apply.
What type of travel is required? Interim Care Providers are required to travel with the baby within the NYC tri-state area. We serve families living within 100 miles of New York City, including Northern New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, Long Island, Connecticut, and New York City.
What health services are provided for the infants?
Spence-Chapin’s board certified pediatricians supervise the health care of the infants. They examine the baby after hospital discharge, perform periodic well-baby exams and a final exam before a child leaves Spence-Chapin’s care. The doctor is on call if a baby requires medical attention or evaluation before a scheduled visit. Infants with special needs are referred to specialists for evaluation. A comprehensive record of the baby’s development is kept. It is not possible for an interim care family to arrange their own medical care for a child in Spence-Chapin’s care.
Are baby supplies provided?
Spence-Chapin provides all supplies for a baby’s care including clothing, diapers, formula etc. as well as reimbursing for transportation costs.
*Please note: Interim Care Providers cannot adopt any child temporarily placed in their home through this program. This is not a path to adoptive parenting.