Babies are a unique combination of unlimited potential and vulnerability, completely reliant on their caregivers. Expectant and new parents are similar – full of hope and promise, and in need of support. Together, babies and parents possess an extraordinary superpower: the ability to adapt.
The prenatal-age 3 period is the most important time for the burgeoning relationship between babies and caregivers. Brain and hormonal changes prepare adults to become caregivers, and babies come into the world prepared to take in, attune to, and be shaped by their relationships. What happens during pregnancy and the critical early childhood years – good and bad – reverberates for a lifetime, and spans generations.
Deeply committed to equity and compelled by the urgent need to increase support for families impacted by trauma, Perigee Fund invests in systems change to ensure that during pregnancy and early childhood, more families receive healing programs, services, and resources that protect and nurture their unfolding relationships.
We work alongside advocates and family-serving systems to make a generational shift in practice and policy so that parents, babies, and toddlers thrive – particularly those that carry a history of individual or collective trauma. We resource efforts across the U.S. through a mix of grantee partnerships and open funding opportunities, and through deeper work in our home state of Washington.
We prioritize efforts in which the voices of families impacted by trauma play a central role in shaping services, defining policy, and advocating for change.
1. Mental health and relationship-based supports are more accessible for diverse Prenatal – Age 3 families impacted by trauma.
2. There is growing momentum and capacity to address intergenerational trauma across Prenatal – Age 3 mental health and relationship-based fields.
3. Families in pregnancy and early childhood have access to cash and cash-equivalent benefits that reduce major drivers of cumulative, poverty-related stress.
ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
Perigee Fund was founded in 2018 by Lisa Mennet, PhD, a psychologist and leader in the field of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). As a philanthropist, she observed a need and opportunity for philanthropic focus on the social emotional development of the youngest children, particularly when affected by adversity, and to boldly include primary caregivers in the early childhood equation. Perigee Fund was born because babies can’t wait.
“We hold in mind the baby and the mother, and their need to be wrapped in healthy families, robust communities, and systems and policies that protect rather than threaten their unfolding relationship,”
Lisa Mennet, Ph.D., Perigee Founder.
“The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind.”Bessel van der Kolk
Author, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
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