United Way funding will give two local agencies, Casa de Amparo and North County Lifeline, about $450,000 each over a 1.5-year period to implement the program which will serve young parents and expectant mothers under the age of 21 whom have some history of substance abuse. Multiple research studies show that two high-risk factors for child abuse and neglect are parental age and substance use.
“While the traditional response has been to correct the problem after it has happened, more programs need to focus on preventing child abuse from happening in the first place,” said UWSD President and CEO Doug Sawyer. “We must get to the root of the problem and stop abuse before it begins.”
The goal is for 150 clients to receive services and education over the next 18 months, many of whom experienced trauma during their own childhoods. The Young Parents Program can help them heal and move forward, breaking the intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect.
“We developed the program to be family-centered,”
The United Way Young Parents Program works by combining key educational components to address the multiple causes of child abuse and neglect. The program’s success is based on the theories that with access to better resources and a network of community support, parents will better understand how to care for their children and be less likely to abuse.
Over a nine-month period, clients will learn healthy stress-management techniques, how to ensure a safe home environment, develop positive parenting skills, abstain from substance use through treatment and therapy, and learn new communication and problem-solving skills.
In addition to peer support and group activities, the local Young Parent Network also provides support through Parent Partners – mentors who have learned to manage the demands of having a child(ren) at a young age.
“One of our Parent Partners is a young father who successfully completed a similar program and has provided valuable insight into the struggles of this population,”
For more information about the Young Parents Program, contact Community Impact Manager Aimee Zeitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 858-636-4164.
About United Way of San Diego County
United Way of San Diego County is a nonprofit organization that for over 90 years has improved lives by mobilizing the community and raising funds to solve Education, Income and Health issues. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. To learn more about the United Way, visit http://www.uwsd.org, Facebook and Twitter.
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United Way of San Diego County is a nonprofit organization that improves lives and creates lasting change by raising money and mobilizing the community to solve education, income and health issues. To learn more or to donate, please visit www.uwsd.org