HSD announces $75,000 award to fund birth doula services for low income women

Seattle Human Services Department announces $75,000 award to fund birth doula services for low income women

Today, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced a $75,000 grant award to Open Arms Perinatal Services to fund birth doula services for low income women of color.

“Building strong and vibrant families and communities begins with creating an environment that supports a healthy start for all babies, said HSD Acting Director, Catherine Lester. “The funding announced today will fund birth doula services for 50 low income pregnant women and their newborns, who may also be immigrant, refugee, homeless, or have a limited ability to speak English.”

Birth Doulas will provide support to pregnant women before, during, and in the weeks following birth. Services include supportive home visits in the last trimester of pregnancy, attendance during labor and delivery, and postpartum home visits after babies are born. In working with vulnerable populations, Birth Doulas also serve as cultural and relational brokers with public health and other medical providers, social services, and government agencies.

This competitive award is a part of HSD’s continuous effort to institute performance-based investments and uses data to steer the department’s resources to nonprofits who demonstrate their ability to serve the community’s most in need.   HSD seeks to ensure the City’s finite resources are being directed to programs that can best leverage the investments for maximum impact on reducing disparities.

Since 1997, Open Arms Perinatal Services has been providing strong community-based support for women through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Open Arms serves nearly 200 women each year, supporting and caring for low-income families at a pivotal time when the positive impact is most profound – and when the cost of being unsupported can be equally profound. One hundred percent of the women served are at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net as it provides $99 million in funding through 522 contracts to nearly 200 agencies that support Seattle’s most vulnerable residents each year.  The department works closely with its community partners, including other public and nonprofit funders and service providers, to understand current and emerging human service needs, and to create and invest in a comprehensive and integrated regional human services system.

For more information about HSD Funding Opportunities and application materials, visit HSD’s Funding Opportunities webpage.


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