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Teen Parenting

Catholic Charities offers support, encouragement, and education to first time expectant or parenting teens from 12 to 21 years of age who reside in Forsyth County in an effort to prepare them for future independence and self-sufficiency.  The program employs an individualized and age-appropriate approach to working with teen parents that takes into account the teen’s age and maturity level, the age of their child, and their living situation.  The program identifies the teen’s strengths, giving them the support and encouragement to overcome challenges, empowering them to believe in themselves, and celebrating their successes.  We help teen parents to identify goals and fulfill dreams for the future.

The program goals focus on three broad areas that will have impact on the future life trajectory for the teen and their child.  These three goals are healthy decision-making, academic achievement, and comprehensive life skills training.

1.) Healthy decision-making includes regular medical care for self and child, avoiding risky behaviors, and effective and age-appropriate parenting skills to increase interactions with their child, support the child’s development, and prepare the child for school.

2.) Academic achievement includes encouraging teen parents to attend school regularly and earn passing grades to graduate from high school, and to consider and pursue further training/education.

3.) Comprehensive life skills training focuses on relationship skills (communication skills, conflict resolution, anger management, and compromise), employment preparation (resumes, job applications, interview skills, appropriate attire), financial literacy (budgeting, bank accounts, saving, and community resources), and independent living skills (household maintenance, cooking, transportation, and support systems).

The case coordinator meets with teen parents monthly to address avoiding risky behaviors, school issues, family issues, basic family needs, and transportation challenges, financial issues, and preparing for self-sufficiency. The case coordinator provides child development and parenting information specific to each child in addition to addressing basic issues of child, care, health care, nutrition, discipline, and school preparation.  The case coordinator also meets with and provides information to the parents or guardians of the teen parents to illicit their support and involvement in helping their child reach self-sufficiency.

Monthly peer support group meetings are a unique component of our teen parenting program. Providing an opportunity for teen parents to meet with and support each other is important for participants. Meeting as a group facilitates discussion on topics and issues relevant to parenting, healthy decision-making, and preparing for future independence, and provides a forum for educational opportunities from collaborative partners.

Participants benefit from other wraparound services of the agency including a food pantry, an infant clothing closet, and immigration services. Additionally, participants are connected with other community resources to meet their family needs.

Eligibility

First time expectant and parenting teens from 12 to 21 years of age who reside in Forsyth County. The program serves both teen mothers and teen fathers.

For further information, please contact Valeria Bethea at 336-714-3218 or email us at vybethea@ccdoc.org

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