39 Teen Parens Graduate from Intensive 5-Year Program Aimed at Preventing Child Abuse, Neglect
5/2/2005 3:09:00 PM
To: City and Assignment Desks, Daybook Editor
Contact: Lisa Garhan of Metropolitan Family Services, 312-555-1212
For many years, Metropolitan Family Services has been helping low-income and teen parents-the two groups most at-risk for child abuse or neglect-raise healthy happy babies. Today, Monday, May 2, Metropolitan Family Services will honor 39 of those parents as it celebrates their graduation from the Healthy Families program. These moms and dads have completed 5 intense years of home visits and group education sessions from pregnancy through their child's 5th birthday, where they learned prenatal care, child development and parenting skills.
To date, the Healthy Families program has helped more than 500 expectant and first-time parents aged 12 to 24 who are at risk for child abuse or neglect. The program has been shown to successfully:
-- Prevent child abuse and neglect
-- Promote healthy child development
-- Increase each family's formal and informal support system
-- Enhance each parent's knowledge of child development and parenting skills.
"Healthy Families begins with prenatal parent education and support, continuing throughout the child's pre-school years," says Donielle Rochelle, program supervisor at Metropolitan's North Center. "Through weekly home visits, these moms learn about prenatal nutrition, labor and delivery, breast feeding, prenatal health, parent-child bonding, child development and how to prepare for the baby's arrival." Education continues once the baby is born to emphasize family planning, basic baby care, infant and parental health, postpartum depression, child growth and development, immunization and well child visits, safety, non- violent discipline, education readiness and parent-child interaction. Parents progress to less frequent home visits as they increase their parenting skills.
"Also," Rochelle notes, "monthly group meetings where these young parents discuss their child's development, and their own struggles and achievements, supplement home visits and individualized support."
WHAT: Healthy Families Graduation
WHEN: TODAY, Monday, May 2, 5 p.m.
WHERE: South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Dr., Chicago, Ill.
For almost 150 years, Metropolitan Family Services has been providing and mobilizing a wide range of programs and services to help strengthen families and communities in Chicago and the suburbs. Metropolitan Family Services offers programs and services to address the needs of the families and communities it serves and provides support in the areas of child and youth development, counseling and mental health, child welfare, family economic development, legal aid, and services for older adults and their families. Eighty-five cents of every dollar Metropolitan Family Services receives is spent on direct client services. Each year, nearly 75,000 families and individuals receive counseling and other supportive services that build on their strengths and capacities; hundreds of thousands more families benefit from Metropolitan's social policy and advocacy efforts. Visit the Metropolitan Family Services Web site at http://www.metrofamily.org.