The Family Resource Center‘s Missouri Mentoring Program staff presented first at the November Professional Development Meeting. They gave a detailed overview of their program and tips for mentoring.
Family Resource Center (FRC)—Missouri Mentoring Partnership:
· Background: FRC is one of MO’s largest counseling agencies, specializing in prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and services 5 geographic areas of Eastern MO including: St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin.
· One component of FRC’s Missouri Mentorship Partnership (MMP) is the St. Louis Volunteer Resource Parents Program (SLVRP)
· SLVRP serves St. Louis City moms aged 22 and under and St. Louis County moms ages 19 or under
· Basic eligibility includes moms are those who are pregnant and/or parenting a child under the age of 2 and have no more than one other child (see additional requirements on website or linked brochure below).
· Youth Outreach Specialists assists client in setting goals and finding resources to achieve those goals
· Additionally, the parents receive “baby bucks”, that can be used towards items for the baby, by accomplishing their goals and being compliant with appointments.
Tips for those who mentor teens:
1. Put your mentee first: Concentrate on their problems/needs, be flexible in your planning and focus on immediate needs if necessary
2. Be your mentee’s friend, but not a buddy: Look out for their best interest, and don’t allow them to do things that will be harmful to them; Encourage them not to ditch an outing or not participate in a scheduled event.
3. Approach your mentee on a basis of mutual respect: Your mentee has experienced many things you have not and has knowledge you do not have. Show respect for these things and do not belittle her for things not known or skills not yet acquired.
Take time to get to know your mentee: Some mentees may be very open, others will not. You must gain an insight to your mentee’s behavior. Some questions may stimulate a person to reveal more about themselves and their experiences.
Selena Eunice Washington—PhD Candidate at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, presented her dissertation on the Parent/Infant Interaction Program (PIIP):
· There are several existing challenges in the area of equality and educational access for pregnant and parenting students—Examples include: refusal of homebound instruction, denying a student’s yearbook photo that included her child, not allowing a student to play basketball due to being pregnant and not allowing a student to run in homecoming court election
· Washington’s dissertation looks at the history and development of the Parent Infant Interaction Program (PIIP) from 1978-2012 with the St. Louis Public School District
· Washington’s qualitative study includes interviews with five out of the seven directors of the program over a 34 year history
· PIIP aims to help pregnant and parenting schools achieve their educational goals by providing parenting courses and child care
· Additionally, the program has drawn from Title IX guidelines to direct policies and practices
· During the school years of 2008-2011, 66% of high school seniors participating in PIIP graduation and enrolled in post-secondary institutions (Adams 2011).
Ms. Washington provided additional information on the importance of Title IX and supporting pregnant teens by giving them information about their rights. They may choose to advocate for themselves or you can assist them. She also shared the Pregnant & Parenting Students’ Bill of Rights from the National Women’s Law Center. If you are looking for another resource or steps to file a complaint, you can visit theU.S. Department of Education’s website.
Participants were asked to share information about their programs for pregnant and parenting teens or programs they refer to.
Community Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Teens:
· Lutheran Family and Children’s Services———————————————(314)787-5100
· Nurse-Family Partnership
o St. Louis City and County ————————————————-(314)679-7871
o Kansas City Region——————————————————— (816)513-6280
· Healthy Families of America (St. Louis County)————————————- (314)679-7880
· Teen Pregnancy Center at Barnes Clinic (St. Louis)———————————(314)454-7882
· Parent/Infant Interaction Program—————————————————- (314)331-6152
o Also, Father’s Support and Parent’s as Teachers
· Department of Health (mini-grants for breastfeeding rooms)—– contact TPPP for more information
Helpful Web Resources:
· National Women’s Law Center: http://www.nwlc.org/
· Healthy Teen Network: http://www.healthyteennetwork.org/
· Lutheran Family and Children’s Services: http://www.lfcsmo.org/
· CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People: http://www.clasp.org/
· Journey Out: http://www.mmp.org
· Family Resource Center: https://www.frcmo.org/
· Missouri Mentoring Partnership (MMP), FRC brochure: https://www.frcmo.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/MMP-SLVRP.pdf
For a printable handout version of this blog post, click here.