January 30, 2023
We’re excited to announce the fourth $10,000 Non-profit Grant recipient of 2022. Congratulations to Tina Allen, Founder and Director of Liddle Kids®.
Her organization does evidenced-based therapeutic touch therapy with pediatric patients in the NICU, as well as with children with cancer, autism and trauma.
Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Jama Hernandez sat down with Tina for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.
WomensNet: Hello WomensNet viewers. We’re so excited today to share our fourth quarter, non-profit grant winner. We are awarding $10,000 to Tina Allen, Founder and Director of Liddle Kidz, and she’s doing some amazing work.
We’re so excited that you’re with us today. Thank you so much.
Tina: Thank you so much everyone at WomensNet and Jama for inviting me to be with you today. It’s a great honor, and I am privileged to be here on behalf of the Liddle Kidz Foundation.
WomensNet: Awesome. Well, we’re so excited that you took some time today to speak with us. Start with telling us a little bit about your organization, your mission and what you do.
Tina: Absolutely. So the Liddle Kidz Foundation was established to be the organization interested in providing the safe and effective practice of pediatric and infant touch therapy. And we have quite a few programs. They fit under three major program categories. Our first program category is education and certification, where we teach healthcare professionals how to provide infant and pediatric massage in a variety of settings, and not focusing only on one infant or pediatric population. It actually is pretty vast. We have programs to educate for working with the most medically fragile infants in the neonatal intensive care unit for children with different diagnoses such as cancer, autism, maybe they’ve had trauma in their background, palliative hospice care, even in the hospital. We want to get that information out to those healthcare providers so that they can be of the best support to parents. So that’s one big program category.
Our second program category is a hospital-based program development where I go into medical institutions all over the globe and help them to implement pediatric massage into their hospitals. And one thing that’s really different about that work is we do turnkey implementation. So I develop the guidelines, the policies, the procedures, teach everybody how to use it, and then we turn the key over to them, and then provide mentorship and support. And we’ve been really lucky to develop over 100 hospital-based programs around the world and implement pediatric massage into those settings.
Then another big program category for us is our global component, which is our iTEP program, it’s International Therapeutic Exchange Program, where we’re working with governments and NGOs all over the world and going into communities where they do not have access to therapies and these kind of interventions. We’re selecting an amazing global ambassador team of healthcare professionals that we’ve trained who join us to go into those countries and provide complimentary healthcare, which includes evaluation, assessment, intervention, and education. Because with all of our programs, we aim to make sure that they are sustainable and can be replicated. So that program’s been amazing. We’ve been able to implement it into so many different organizations from hospitals to orphanages all across the world. And we are lucky that we have great communication with those organizations and know they’re using the techniques and the children are really benefiting.
WomensNet: That is amazing. So when you talk about pediatric massage therapy and some of the programs that you offer, if there’s one thing that you want us all to walk out knowing…what would that be?
Tina: I think it would probably be the benefits. I think there’s confusion around the idea with massage and touch therapy interventions. People don’t really know how they benefit kids and it’s not just kids with medical diagnosis. It’s your child that’s going to school that has anxiety, that’s having, academic issues or even maybe bullying or other things that are going on. Pediatric massage can be implemented in so many different ways and it has huge benefits for kids. They really do need healthy touch to grow and thrive. And I think that’s important. There’s a lot of information out there about adults receiving massage for relaxation or other therapeutic reasons, but not everybody is aware of the great benefit it has for kids. And I think that’s something that we should be more aware of.
WomensNet: Yes. And that’s what makes your program so unique. So tell us, how do you plan on using the $10,000 grant award?
Tina: Right now, we want to grow this and one of the ways that we’ve been doing that is with our virtual learning capacity. We’re able to use grant funding to grow that so that we can reach more people and then in turn they reach more families and more children. And so we’re able to increase capacity of so many healthcare professionals with the grant from WomensNet. It’s amazing.
WomensNet: That is definitely amazing. And it’s just awesome that some of this work can be done virtually all over the world, and accessible to so many people.
Tina: We’re grateful because one of the things that’s also kind of a cool thing with touch therapy — not only can you adapt all the different techniques, so it fits every child individually and meets their needs, but you also can adapt it culturally. So if there are different cultures that have different feelings around touch, we can adapt it, we can change. We can change the language very easily. We have our program in many different languages and so many different resources are even available in a complimentary format because we wanna make sure that people feel supported. So, with this grant, we’re really going to be able to provide so much more care.
WomensNet: What is an upcoming milestone for Liddle Kidz?
Tina: I think one big, upcoming milestone that we have is how we are taking the curriculum, and as you mentioned, we are an evidence informed group. So I’m always reading more research and adapting and making sure everything is super supported in that way. And so that’s a big piece that we’re adding to our virtual learning, is easily accessible evidence. So that when not only the learning that they have and the underpinning of the knowledge, but being able to understand it themselves. The different healthcare providers who maybe don’t read research as often, I am breaking it all down for them. Our team is doing that so that they can use that and adapt what they’re doing. And then being able to share that with parents in a way that they can understand it. Parents also learn differently than healthcare providers. And so for us to be able to make that accessible for everyone is the big goal.
WomensNet: How can the WomensNet community show support for your business? What can we all do?
Tina: Well, this is great. So the first thing I would ask is, anyone who’s tuning in, who is interested in all about what we’re doing, please come and visit our website. Have a look that we do have an enormous amount of complimentary resources available as well. And I would love people to come and take advantage of those, whether it’s for their own professional practice, possibly it’s for their family or even families that they’re working with. And then, our whole organization are big collaborators. That’s one of the things I loved about this concept of Women’s Network is that it’s the idea that people can really work together, support each other and grow your individual program, but at the same time, while we’re supporting each other, it grows everyone’s program and you help more people. So we are huge collaborators. If someone is listening and thinks, you know, I can see how my program might be able to work in some way with the Liddle Kidz Foundation, I would love to hear from you. I would love to learn more about your program so that all of us are supporting each other, which is really, I think the idea is creating a network of people working together so that everybody can achieve more.
WomensNet: Absolutely. And maybe you can tell us what your website is.
Tina: Oh, absolutely. It’s LiddleKidz.org
WomensNet: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. We are just so excited to see the wonderful things that you will continue to do, not just locally, but also internationally. Thanks again and keep in touch.
Tina: Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure. I appreciate you Jama and everybody at the Women’s Network and everybody who’s tuning in. I will tell you, I’ve been really lucky to see some of your past winners and there’s some amazing women out there that are accomplishing so many things and I’m very grateful to be among them. Thank you so much.