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Care Coordination

Embark on your parenting journey with Care Coordination. Care coordination is your temporary guide that can connect you with the resources and support you need to be the best parent you can be.
 
Like a compassionate and wise family member, our program offers warmth and support, connecting parents with essential services and expanding their social safety net.

Happy Girl Texting

Connecting to Essential Services

Connect to Services

There are a lot of resources available in Baltimore City that can help people who are pregnant or caring for a baby (3 years old or younger) navigate all of those services. Care coordination can help you to learn about what is out there and what might work best for you and your life.

 

Your path to parenting resources is guided by staff at HealthCare Access Maryland. While your care coordinator will not be with you throughout your journey, they will introduce you to the people and the services that will. 

Some of the many examples of what care coordination can refer you to include...

Health Benefit Navigation

Prenatal Education

 

Food Resources

(WIC and SNAP)

Mental Wellness Support

Home Visiting

Crib Program

What Others Say

What Parents in Baltimore Say About Care Coordination

Each year, Care Coordination provides outreach and care coordination services to over 12,000 Baltimore City residents. Here's what some of them have to say.

Hands

Trust and Comfort

She was incredibly understanding, patiently guiding me through everything, even with my kids running around in the background. No matter how many times I needed something repeated, she never showed irritation. Plus, she reassured me that whatever I shared was confidential and I could skip any question I wasn't comfortable with. I always felt like there was someone I could talk to, whether on the phone or at my door, creating a very comfortable space.

Young Hands Holding Old Hands

Respect and Non-Judgment

She respected my personal decisions regarding my children, which was reassuring. Even if my choices didn't align with all the information she provided, she reinforced that they were mine to make as a parent. I felt heard and understood. Despite feeling embarrassed about my appearance and age, I appreciated that she didn't judge me or assume things about my marital status. It made me feel more comfortable opening up.

Trip Planning

Personalization

I appreciated how my care coordinator went above and beyond to find resources I didn't even know existed. Their proactive approach, like sending helpful emails during my pregnancy, was incredibly supportive. Even when my inquiries were outside their usual scope, they guided me to the right resources. What stood out was their willingness to share personal experiences, making their advice relatable and trustworthy. They didn't just provide information; they showed genuine care and investment, making the process feel accessible and manageable.

What to Expect with Care Coordination

What to Expect

Care coordination is a service offered for free that you can refer yourself into. Explore the section below to learn what to expect and to see the answer to common questions.

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The type of information you will be asked for includes your name, address, date of birth, type of insurance, and reason for completing the form. 

The type of information you will be asked for includes your name, address, date of birth, type of insurance, and reason for completing the form. 

Step 1: Complete the self-referral form 

What’s happening behind the scenes (between steps 1 and 2)—5-20 days

Once someone submits a form, a team at HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM) reviews the information from a database and assigns it to a care coordinator within 2-4 days. The initial contact with the client usually happens within 24 to 48 hours.

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The type of information you will be asked for includes your name, address, date of birth, type of insurance, and reason for completing the form. 

The coordinator assigned to your case will contact you using a 410 or 443 number. If they can't reach you, they'll try email or contact the emergency contact if available. During the call, they'll explain the privacy policy verbally and send it by email, and they'll also assess your service needs.

Step 2: A care coordinator will contact you and talk to you about health care and community resources for you and your baby 

What’s happening behind the scenes (between steps 2 and 3)—5 days

You will speak to the care coordinator at least once, but sometimes more than once if needed. If you do not have all the needed information, you will be able to call your care coordinator back.

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The type of information you will be asked for includes your name, address, date of birth, type of insurance, and reason for completing the form. 

Based on your assessment, the care coordinator will identify services that fit your needs. They will refer you to those services. The timing of referrals can vary.

Step 3: Care coordinator connects you to essential services 

What’s happening behind the scenes (after step 3)—10-45 days

The time it takes for your care coordinator to finish referrals can vary. Services like WIC or Home Visiting will follow up with you directly. You can always ask your care coordinator to make more referrals.

Get Started

Ready to Get Started?

To get connected to care coordination, fill out the self-referral form. All of your information will be kept private.
  • Why should my baby sleep alone? I feel safer with my baby near me.
    We know that when parents sleep in the same bed as their baby, they are trying to do what they think is best. Unfortunately, co-sleeping is really dangerous. Most sleep-related deaths in Baltimore happen when babies sleep with an adult or with other children. Remember, it doesn't take much for a baby to suffocate. Co-sleeping is a common practice in some cultures. While it is wonderful to preserve most cultural traditions, some need to be adapted. For example, American beds are soft, high, and have a lot of blankets and pillows. These features make them unsafe for babies. If you are worried about bonding, keeping your baby's crib in your room is a great idea! Share a room, not a bed.
  • My baby sleeps better when they’re next to me. What are some other ways to soothe them?
    The sleep habits you set now will carry into childhood. When you put your baby to sleep in a crib from the beginning, they will get used to it. You will also be able to sleep better and more soundly knowing your baby is safe. Here are some of the things that you can do to help your baby sleep peacefully in their crib: Swaddle your baby (NOTE: you should stop swaddling when your baby starts to roll over) Create a bedtime routineUse a pacifier Give your baby a massage The first few weeks with a baby are rewarding, but the lack of sleep can be challenging. Hang in there. It will get better.
  • But isn't my baby more likely to choke on their back?
    Many parents believe that babies are more likely to choke if they sleep on their back. This is not true. In fact, your baby is LESS likely to choke on his or her back. Watch the video clip understand why.
  • What if my baby can roll over?
    Once babies are able to roll over from back to stomach on their own, there is no need to watch or reposition them during sleep. Babies should still be placed on their backs for sleep, but you don't need to worry about keeping them that way. Do not use a pillow or rolled up blanket to keep your baby on his or her back. These items increase the chances of your baby suffocating.
  • My older relatives say that they put their babies to sleep on their stomach.
    You may hear from older relatives that they put their babies to sleep on their stomachs. A lot has changed in the last 20 years and we now know a lot more about infant safety. In fact, when pediatricians began recommending that babies sleep on their back, the number of babies dying in their sleep dropped dramatically.
  • Why do I need to get a crib for my baby to sleep?
    The crib is the ONLY safe place for your baby to sleep. Your baby shouldn’t sleep on an adult bed or couch or with pillows, cushions or stuffed animals. Your baby could be suffocated in these soft materials. Your baby also could become trapped in between cushions on a couch or get stuck between the bed and the wall. These tragic situations occur all too frequently in Baltimore City.
  • Won't my baby get cold without a sheet or blanket?
    Dress your baby in a sleeper for warmth, but do not use blankets or allow your baby to get too warm. Overheating can be a risk for SIDS. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in the same amount of layers that you are wearing. If the room temperature is comfortable for you, then it is also comfortable for your baby.
  • Is it safe for my baby to wear a sleep sack?
    Sleep sacks and wearable blankets can be part of a safe sleep routine. Because these are an extra layer, be mindful of overheating, a leading cause of SIDS. You can avoid overheating by following this rule: when inside, dress your baby in the same number of layers that you are wearing. If a room's temperature is comfortable for you, it's comfortable for your baby. Please also remember that not every product that is marketed for safe sleep is actually safe, even if it is sold in stores or online. For example, weighted sleepwear is not safe. Before you purchase these products, it is important to do your research and to ask your baby's doctor. To check if a product has ever been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall List.
  • What kind of crib should I get for my baby?
    Your baby’s crib does not need to be fancy or expensive, but it must be safe. There are many types of stationary and portable cribs (such as a Pack ‘n Play™ or the portable crib given out by HealthCare Access Maryland) that are safe—you just have to make sure that it meets current safety guidelines. When purchasing a crib, look for Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification. If you borrow a crib, check to make sure that the slats are no more than 2-3/8 inches apart. Widely spaced slats can trap an infant's head. The mattress should be firm and fit snugly in the crib. The crib sheet should fit tightly all the way around and under the mattress. Nothing else should be in the crib with your baby – no quilts, blankets, comforters, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, or soft toys. Car seats and infant carriers should not be used as your baby’s bed. Your baby could get knocked over or roll over. It’s just not worth taking a risk.
  • Why is it important to have a smoke-free home?
    Babies who breathe in smoke are more likely to have lifelong health problems. They are also more likely to die while sleeping. Smoke is a houseguest that always overstays its welcome. Even if you open a window, it drifts around the house and even stays in fabrics and dust. Keep the air in your home clean by asking smokers to go outside. Here are some tips to make your home smoke-free: Ask smokers to smoke outside Get all ashtrays, matches, and lighters out of your home Post a sign on your front door so visitors know not to smoke 

  • Doesn't my baby need to spend time on their tummy?
    Yes! You can provide 'tummy time' when he is awake and being watched. This will help strengthen his neck and arm muscles and prevent flat spots on the back of his head.
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