Oklahoma Caring Van

Connecting our families

Infant Crisis Services prides ourselves on the large number is babies and toddlers our program is able to reach in our community, but there is an ever emerging success that Infant Crisis Services is developing in our program deemed “resource connecting.” For those outside of the world of social services, the word resource equates to money, but in our realm resource means services. In itself, resource is a kind of fluid gold that keeps on giving. We work diligently with our families to connect them to other resources in the community. We know that families struggling with food insecurity for the babies, could benefit from other services as well. Sometimes their lives are so overwhelmed that smaller tasks, although vitally important, go on the to-do list. One of those things is often getting the child immunized.

Why? There are countless scenarios, lack of time, unreliable transportation, instability to work and  schedules that do not coordinate well enough to stop and make these appointments. In just a matter of weeks, the 3 month old is now 4 months and pretty soon the child is behind on important vaccinations and more susceptible to illness and disease. So in an effort to connect more of our families to services, Infant Crisis Services locked arms with the Oklahoma Caring Van, who offers free vaccinations for children 0-18. This past Tuesday, the Oklahoma Caring Van made us their stop for the day. Parents had the opportunity to receive flu or general vaccinations for their children. In all, 13 children received 31 vaccinations from the Caring Van.

Jenny Getter, the Caring Van Specialist, shared a story about a special family they served that day.

A mother of two children (ages 1 years old and 3 years old)  vaccinated her children through the Caring Van. By looking the children up in OSIIS, the statewide database for immunizations, she was able to inform her both children were behind and needed multiple immunizations.  Without being asked by [Infant Crisis Services] about vaccinating her child, they might not be seen until entering school.

This is just one way Infant Crisis Services is able to meet clients where they are, connect them with a direct resource that is vital to the development of the baby and impact the long-term health of their little one. We thank the Oklahoma Caring Van for using our location as a portal to reaching out to families by coming spend the day with Infant Crisis Services.

--- Judith Cope, Outreach Coordinator