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Contact Us

Center for Children and Families
50 Holden Street
Providence, RI 02908
P: (401) 274-1122, ext. 48935

Hours

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday
 Directions

No Show Policy

We have a policy for missed appointments at all Women & Infants' physician practices. If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. Learn More

NICU Family Support

Having your child spend any time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can weigh heavy on your heart and mind. We work with families who are experiencing difficulties related to adjustment problems, anxiety and depression connected with the birth of their preterm infant or chronic psychiatric conditions that affect the relationship with their infant.

Infant Developmental Support

The Occupational Therapy Service provides assessment, consultation and intervention for infants with feeding and developmental concerns, for inpatients in the NICU and Mother-Baby Unit, as well as for outpatients, birth to three months old.


The Neurobehavioral Consult Service provides an assessment to examine the neurobehavioral organization, neurological, motor development, active and passive tone, and signs of stress and withdrawal of the at-risk and drug-exposed infant.

When should an infant be referred? 

All infants born at Women & Infants Hospital who have been exposed to illicit drugs, psychotropic medication, or who have neurobehavioral concerns such as excessive irritability or poor sleep should be referred for NNNS consult.  

What should the doctor's order state? 

The order should be written to read "Neurobehavioral Consult."  

Making a referral 

Please leave a message at (401) 274-1122, ext. 43368. The clinician will be paged. Leave the following information:  

  • Infant name.
  • Floor/room number.
  • Date of birth and anticipated discharge date.
Reason for referral (drug exposure, motor or other developmental concerns, irritability).

For more information, call (401) 274-1122, ext. 48935.

The NICU Family Psychosocial Service provides family-based mental health services for parents of the infants who must spend time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

Referrals are made by the social workers in the NICU. Mental health services are available during the nursery stay to provide psychiatric, developmental, and behavioral assessment, consultation and intervention for parents.  

An additional focus of the program is on facilitating parent–infant relationships and parental coping and adjustment. The program supports families and prepares them to take home infants who have spent time in the nursery by helping address their concerns. The service also provides additional support to parents with psychiatric or substance use conditions that might interfere with the caretaking of their infant. 

Our program specializes in:  
  • Outpatient mental health services provided to caregivers while their infant is in the NICU.
  • Services that address parental adjustment issues, depression and anxiety related to the stress of having an infant born prematurely or with medical complications.
  • Consultation and support to parents with psychiatric conditions that interfere with caretaking, nurturing, or interactions with their infant.
Who do we serve?

Parents with infants in the NICU who are referred by NICU social work staff for difficulties related to adjustment problems, anxiety and depression connected with the birth of their preterm infant or chronic psychiatric conditions that affect the relationship with their infant. For more information, call (401) 274-1122, ext. 48935.

NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) is standard of care for all babies in NICU born less than 1500 grams, and for all babies suffering neonatal abstinence syndrome (withdrawal from opiate addiction). NNNS is also available on a consult basis for any babies (NICU or well baby nursery) with neurobehavioral concerns.

For NNNS information at our center, please contact: Lynne Andreozzi Fontaine, PhD. at landreozzi@wihri.org.

The Occupational Therapy (OT) Service provides assessment, consultation and intervention for infants with feeding and developmental concerns, for inpatients in the NICU, Mother-Baby Unit and newborn nurseries as well as for outpatients, birth to 3 months old. Low birthweight infants, infants with congenital conditions affecting feeding or development, infants with fractured clavicle or brachial plexus injury and infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome may benefit from OT assessment and developmental or feeding support. In all cases, therapists collaborate with nursery staff and work closely with parents and caregivers to optimize the care environment and tailor interventions to individual needs.

Our program includes: 
  • In-hospital consultation and assessment of infant feeding and development.
  • In-hospital creation, with parents and other caregivers, of an individualized developmental care plan for the infant based on the OT assessment.
  • In-hospital instruction/teaching for parents and staff regarding developmental strengths and areas of need.
  • Outpatient OT Consultation Services also are available to address short term problems related to feeding issues, muscle tone difficulties, coordination issues.
  • Outpatient OT Consultation Services at the Women & Infants' Neonatal Follow-Up Program for premature infants, following their discharge from the hospital.
  • Preterm infants in the Follow-Up Program at Women & Infants' Hospital with motor or feeding problems.
Make a Referral:
  • Infant name.
  •  Floor/room number.
  • Date of birth and anticipated discharge date.
  • Reason for referral (drug exposure, motor or other developmental concerns, irritability).
For more information, call (401) 274-1122, ext. 48935.

The Healthy Early Relationships (HER) program focuses on strengthening the parent-child relationship in order to promote child development and healthy family functioning.

Families we serve  

The HER program works with families who have children younger than five years of age facing challenges that may cause stress for the parent-child relationship. These challenges may be related to parental mental health needs, perinatal substance use, extended hospitalizations, out-of-home placement, or other situations that may cause disruptions in the parent-child relationship. 

Our program specializes in:  

  • Providing outpatient infant mental health and child and family therapy.
  • Conducting developmental screenings on infants and children age five and younger to identify their strengths and needs and assist with referrals as indicated.
  • Development of individualized treatment plans for newborns and infants with medical risk.
  • Collaboration with community partners to enhance services and promote positive family outcomes.

Our program focuses on:

  • Strengthening parent-infant relationships.
  • Repairing the impact of disruptions in early attachment.
  • Enhancing parenting skills.
  • Facilitating family transitions.

About our staff:

Our interdisciplinary clinical staff includes professionals with expertise in:  

  • Infant mental health.
  • Family therapy.
  • Parenting.
  • Infant and child development.