A Rainbow of Opportunities for Teen Parents
“I never thought that I would have a baby before I graduated from high school, but I just found out that I’m pregnant and I don’t know what to do.”
An unplanned pregnancy can be a stormy time for an individual at any age, and it is especially difficult if you are a teenager. Parenting does not start the day your baby is born. Your parenting role begins the moment you find out you are pregnant. Parenting for Success is an information and support program designed for teen parents 13-19 years old in St. CLair County. This program offers a rainbow of opportunities to help you weather the storms of teen parenthood and help insure a safe healthy outcome for you and your baby.
“I don’t need anyone to tell me how to care for my baby, it is not that difficult. I’ve helped to raise my brothers and sisters. All you have to do is keep the baby dry and fed. After all if I participate in a parenting program people might think I’m not a good parent.”
Parenting for Success understands the needs and concerns of teen parents. The home visitor is a person that can offer you support in a friendly caring environment.
Parenting for Success Home Visitor Program is designed to:
- Add to the knowledge you already have about prenatal care and parenting before and after the baby arrives.
- Help you develop and utilize the resources in your community.
- Help you with your parenting and personal growth concerns throughout the first two years of your child’s life.
“Sometimes I feel so alone, being a parent is a big responsibility, there are so many pressures, I feel so many demands on my time (school, the baby, my family, my friends), I wish I was able to talk with someone that could understand my situation.”
Parenting for Success offers Parenting Groups. The Parenting Groups provide information and support to teenage mothers in a group setting. It is led by a trained volunteer team of older moms who have expereinced teen motherhood. IN a series of weekly sessions, you will discuss a variety of topics, such as Child Development, Home Safety, Parenting Skills, How You Can Make Plans and Set Goals for Your Future, and The Future of Your Child. Food, transportation and babysitting are provided for the Parenting Group participants.
“I want my baby to have a good life. I want my baby to be healthy and safe.”
Parenting for Success offers developmental screening for your child. Many health problems can be corrected if they are detected in time. Parenting for Success provides on-going developmental screening to see if your child is developing properly.
“I would like to know more about issues that relate to teen parenting concerns. Is there a place in the community where I can receive information?”
Parenting for Success offers the community: Community Education, pregnancy prevention, and a resource library.
Parenting for Success provides community education presentations to community groups, schools, churches, etc., on responsible sexual decision making, adolescent pregnancy and a wide range of topics relating to parenting.
Parenting for Success provides resource information and workshops relating to teen parenting and other adolescent concerns that can be utilized by individuals, groups, and agencies in the community.
Facts about teenage pregnancy:
- Births to teenagers account for nearly 14% of all births in the state.
- One of every ten girls between the ages of 15 and 19 becomes pregnant in Illinois each week.
- Over 500 mothers who are 14 and under give birth in Illinois each year.
- 80% of teen pregnancies in Illinois are unintended.
- An estimated 150,000 infants and children are living with 130,000 teen parents in Illinois.
- 48% of all black children now live in poverty, an increase from 39.6% in 1969. Many of these are children of teenage mothers.
- Thirty-two percent of the adolescents who give birth already have at least one child.
- East St. Louis reports that out of 1,465 births, 33.5% were born to teen mothers.
- Forty-six percent of Illinois mothers under the age of 20 receive no prenatal care in the critical first threee months of pregnancy.
- The Infant Mortality rate in East. St. Louis is twice the state average.
Parenting for Success is an Ounce of Prevention Fund Program funded through the Illinois Department of Human Services – “Parents Too Soon Initiative”.