Smooth Way Home

Supporting a successful transition for fragile infants and their families from the newborn intensive care unit back to their community


The overall purpose of the Smooth Way Home Fragile Infant Project is to improve the social, developmental and medical outcomes of very fragile infants by enhancing the coordination of care and the quality of services provided to them as they transition from the newborn intensive care unit back to their home and community.


Southwest Human Development has played a leadership role in bringing together a wide range of community partners, including state agencies, community service providers, parent advocacy groups, hospital personnel, physicians and health insurance providers to address the needs of this very vulnerable population.



    • Increase the number of NICU babies who are connected with early intervention services prior to discharge or very shortly after discharge
    • Provide training and technical assistance to the community of early intervention providers related to specialized developmental assessment tools and intervention approaches appropriate for very fragile newborns and infants
    • Provide mentoring and resource support for families whose babies are transitioning home from the NICU
    • Special emphasis on support for families whose babies have eating/feeding disorders
    • Provide increased screening and support for parents coping with Perinatal Mood Disorders (PPD, PP OCD, PP Anxiety, and PTSD)
    • Provide Home visitation services for fragile infants and their families across Maricopa county who do not qualify for early intervention services or are waiting for their services to commence.


Identified Needs/Issues

    • Trauma and stress for families
    • Costly readmissions for NICU graduates
    • Missed opportunities to support babies’ optimal growth and development
    • Lack of coordination, communication and understanding between NICU and community providers
    • Lack of training for community providers in care of fragile infants
    • Missed opportunity for families to understand and be connected with community services


NICU Parent Resources




Professional Development and Training

Smooth Way Home provides professional development and training for professionals who work with fragile infants who experience prematurity; special needs; term, but are not behaviorally well-organized; and/or born into high risk families.


October 24, 2017 | Navigating the System: Coordinating Your Child’s Care

Join Feeding Matters on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET for “Navigating the System: Coordinating Your Child’s Care,” a virtual workshop sponsored by Glendale’s From The Heart. During this multifaceted educational workshop, Shannon Goldwater will provide tips and tools on how to efficiently manage your child’s complex needs. Shannon has more than 14-years of experience coordinating the care of her triplets, who were born at 25-weeks. Cost: $20**




**Live in Glendale, Ariz.? A generous grant from Glendale’s From The Heart enables you to participate free-of-charge. Email for details.


Thank You to Our Community Partners

Funding from Dignity Health is supporting Southwest Human Development and its partners – Feeding Matters, Raising Special Kids and Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona – in bringing together key stakeholders to build the systems needed to provide coordinated care and state-of-the-art services to these babies.


For more information about Smooth Way Home, please contact Rachael Cervantes at (602) 633-8455 or

Helping Arizona Children & Famillies

With your support we can do even more