The founding purpose of Miracle Babies is to provide needs-based financial assistance to families with a baby(s) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Every year, more than half a million babies are born too soon in the United States. When a baby arrives prematurely or with medical complications, a parent’s life can change drastically. Routines and budgets go out the window, and stress becomes a near constant emotion. Most parents understand the importance of being with their baby in the NICU as much as possible, but often times, families experience barriers that prohibit them from getting to the hospital. Our Family Assistance Program (FAP) is designed to help alleviate these additional monetary burdens, ensuring that families are able to focus their attention on getting to the hospital.
Financial assistance provided by Miracle Babies is designed to help with costs related to:
- Transportation, Parking Fees, and Gas
- Groceries and Hospital Meals:
- Childcare Costs for Older Children
When families spend more time in the NICU, the benefits are indisputable. A parent’s presence, voice, scent, and touch can all impact the baby is an extremely positive way, while also meeting mom and dad’s need to be involved in caring for their infant. Moms who spend time in the NICU are more likely to breastfeed, a practice that has tremendous benefits for NICU babies. Furthermore, the more often that moms and dads can get to the hospital, the more opportunities they will have to engage in Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin practice known to reduce stress and improve immunity in NICU babies.
By providing financial assistance, designed to offset the costs of getting to and staying at the hospital, Miracle Babies aims to improve the health of NICU babies through promotion of the following practices:
- Kangaroo Care
FAP Program Specifics
In coordination with the referring hospital, Miracle Babies evaluates each family’s need by considering several factors, including income-to-debt ratio, gestational age of the child at birth, anticipated length of stay in the NICU, as well as the severity of any birth abnormalities, and distributes grants to families based on their need.
Miracle Babies currently accepts FAP applications from hospitals affiliated with our organization in San Diego, Orange County, and Atlanta. A full list of participating NICU’s can be found here. To be considered for this program, please review the qualifications below, and contact your assigned social worker to receive an application.
Qualifications for referral to Miracle Babies’ Family Assistance Program:
- The Family Assistance Program is specific to families who have a newborn(s) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Families with a child in other units of a hospital (such as the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) do not qualify for assistance through our program.
- The baby must be admitted to the NICU for at least 2 weeks (14 days) before being referred to Miracle Babies.
- The family must be experiencing extreme financial stress directly related to the baby’s NICU stay, not due to previous debts. Financial stress related to the baby’s stay in the NICU includes cost of transportation to and from the hospital, groceries and meals, childcare for other children while parents visit the NICU, temporary relocation to be closer to the hospital, etc.
- The family must be actively involved in baby’s care, making an effort to visit the baby in the NICU as often as possible.
- The baby must remain in the custody of the parents. Referrals will not be accepted if Child Protective Services is involved.
*** Exceptions to the above will be made on a case-by-case basis. ***
Please contact our Family Assistance Program manager Marianela Camarillo at 858-633-8543 or by e-mail, email@example.com with any questions.
Continuing Assistance, Resources, and Education
Miracle Babies understands that all NICU admissions are scary, but when a newborn is expected to stay in the NICU for an extended amount of time due to a premature delivery or medical complication, the emotional and financial hardships can be even more severe. In order to continue to support the NICU families we work with, Miracle Babies is offering continued financial assistance for families who have a baby in the NICU for longer than 60 days.
This second round of funding is designed to help families continue to get to and from the hospital. Families are encouraged to use these funds to pay for ongoing costs related to:
Transportation, Parking Fees, and Gas
Groceries and Hospital Meals
Childcare Costs for Older Children
Round Two Funding Qualifications:
- The family applying for round two assistance must have already applied for and received financial assistance from Miracle Babies.
- The baby must be in the NICU for at least 60 continuous days at the time of application.
- The family applying for assistance must have continued financial hardship
- Ongoing active participation in the baby’s care must be demonstrated
To be considered for additional financial assistance, please contact your social worker to determine eligibility and obtain an application
Resources and Education: Wellness Checks
Spending an extended amount of time in the NICU can be extremely stressful. To further support the families we fund, our team makes an effort to reach out around 60 days postpartum to check in with mom and dad, and see how they are doing physically, emotionally, and mentally.
This brief telephone conversation touches on continued financial and material needs, postpartum depression and PTSD, baby’s medical diagnoses, and general state of wellbeing. If a mom or dad has identified a need for further assistance, Miracle Babies connects them with local resources. Moms who may be experiencing depression get connected with psychologists who accept their insurance. Dads who want to learn more about their child’s medical condition receive information about support groups for their child’s specific diagnosis. Families who continue to struggle financially get connected with WIC and other state sponsored assistance programs that can continue to provide the financial support that Miracle Babies has initiated.