New report highlights work to address diaper need in CT

(Juliana Alford)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 1:36 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) - Coinciding with the start of National Diaper Need Awareness Week on September 18, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) and the Diaper Bank of Connecticut (DBCT) are releasing the first ever Diaper Connections status report.

The report details how the Diaper Connections program, launched in November, has implemented screening for diaper need at hospitals and is leveraging existing local community assets and partnerships to organize distribution channels, and distribute diapers in hospital settings such as labor and delivery units, maternity and pediatric clinics, emergency departments, and primary care sites.

The new collaborative program has resulted in distribution of nearly 1 million diapers to over 2,200 children and families since launching in November, 2022.

“One in two U.S. families struggles to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy.  Diaper insecurity is related to several maternal and child health conditions, including maternal depression, poor infant sleep, infant and child urinary tract infections, and diaper rash.  Diapers are a material basic need, like food and shelter, and are essential to the health and economic success of families,” said Dr. Selina Osei, Director, Health Equity and Community Engagement, CHA.

“I am so grateful for Diaper Connections and the impact this program is having on families and children throughout Connecticut,” said Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford), Co-Chair of the Human Services Committee.  “More than 2,000 children have received a monthly diaper supply, meaning that families aren’t being forced to go without food, utilities, or other basic needs.  Access to diapers improves the health of the entire family.  Diaper Connections is an important part of Connecticut’s work to address social determinants of health.”

“As a new Mom, I shared in the struggle to afford diapers,” said Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield), Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee.  “Thanks to the Diaper Bank and Connecticut Hospital Association, our Diaper Connections program has addressed this critical healthcare need for babies and their caregivers.  This program is an excellent example of how collaboration between statewide organizations and local community resources can overcome obstacles for families.  I applaud the success achieved to date and look forward to ongoing collaboration and support.”

Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee said, “Too many families struggle today with the costs of raising children, and while programs like Diaper Connections are performing valuable and important services to support them, more work can and must be done.  I am committed to working with my colleagues in years to come finding solutions and supporting initiatives that will benefit families for the good of all, especially benefitting children’s health and wellbeing in their youth.”

“New mothers, especially those who are struggling financially, already have so much to contend with and having easy access to diapers is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Representative Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-Seymour), Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee said.  “Supporting your local diaper bank is supporting your community, and allowing new mothers to fully focus on their baby and bonding with their family at the most important early moments.”

“Advancing maternal and child health across Connecticut is our priority,” said Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton), Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee.  “Diaper insecurity – and access to this basic necessity – must be our collective focus, because this has a health impact for both mothers and children.”

How to Support Diaper Need Awareness Week:

  • Read and share the report to raise awareness about the impact of diaper need and opportunities to work on collaborative solutions
  • Participate in the Diaper Bank of Connecticut’s statewide Healthy Baby Diaper Drive (September 18 - October 14). Click here to learn more
  • Share resources and information from the Diaper Bank of Connecticut and CHA, like this video, on social media
  • Learn more about the Diaper Connections program here

Read the Diaper Connections Status Report here.