For pregnant teens, young moms and at-risk moms, there are serious daily challenges to face. There are also opportunities to share in the comradery and support of other moms who are experiencing the same journey.
Each year, our work across our community to provide encouragement, information, connections to resources and ongoing positive support makes a tremendous impact on dozens of young or at-risk mothers and their children.
JUMP provides education and support for teen pregnancy and teens with children through mentors who are trained in their roles as supporters. Mentors are invited to engage in monthly training opportunities, and teens are provided with monthly group education meetings as well as home and school visits. Additionally, the YWCA Choices program works with at-risk middle school girls in St. Joseph to improve life skills.
Through JUMP, YWCA team members and trained mentors worked with 82 pregnant or parenting teens and 69 infants of these teens last year. Our program for pregnant teenagers and teen mothers is named “JUMP” not only because it stands for Journey to Unite Mentors and Parents, but also because it enables the youth in our community to get a jump start toward adulthood by connecting them with positive mentors who can guide them through teen pregnancy and teen parenting.
What is the teen parent program?
JUMP is the only support program in Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton or DeKalb counties that provides a support group specifically to teen parents. JUMP provides the teens with Mentors that encourage and support them.
What does the JUMP program offer?
The program offers monthly support meetings, home visitation, school groups, infant massage, playgroups, child passenger safety education and mentoring. The program encourages continuing education, current and up-to-date immunizations of their children and prenatal care, etc. The teen parents are rewarded for these things by earning incentives such as diapers, wipes, baby bottles, etc.
What is a Mentor?
A Mentor is a volunteer that is available to talk freely about pregnancy, parenting, school, work and all the other things that go on in the life of a teen. (Mentors must be 21 years of age and pass a criminal background screening).
How do I qualify for the teen parent program?
You must be a pregnant teen or a teen parenting a child under the age of 3.