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April 25, 2016

Agency Spotlight: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County

by PBUnitedWay

Our monthly Partner Agency Spotlight recognizes Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agencies that are passionate and dedicated to bringing about change in our community.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 1989. They improve birth outcomes, promote healthy families, and build healthy communities by providing cooperative community-oriented programs to the residents of Palm Beach County.

Programs offered are Prenatal Outreach, Prenatal Care Coordination, MomCare, Health Care Navigators, and the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Education Programs. Their goal is for women to enter prenatal care in the first trimester of their pregnancy so that their babies are born healthy, safe and strong; and serve more than 59,000 Palm Beach County residents yearly.

A program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way since 2014, is the Caps and Cribs Teen Mom Mentor Program.  Cabs and Cribs is a one-on-one mentor program where women (who are also mothers) are matched with teens who are pregnant or parenting, and help guide them on a path to finish high school, set goals in areas of finance, jobs, motherhood and relationships, and work with them individually to help them achieve these goals.  Mentors and mentees meet regularly and develop a relationship built on trust that allows for open conversation about the challenges of raising a child while balancing home life, schoolwork and jobs.  They create a bond that the teens do not have with anyone else.  Meet Victoria, a success story of the Caps and Cribs Mentor Program:

“Victoria began our program in the fall of 2014 with her mentor Shana.  She delivered a healthy baby boy in January 2015 of her senior year, but struggled with a number of challenges related to housing, relationships, finance and education.  A foster child navigating a strained relationship with her birth mother, Tori, was consistently struggling with how to get through each day with a newborn by her side and virtually no family to support her.  She bounced from one house to another with no secure place to live and school was becoming less and less of a priority.  Through her time with her mentor, she learned some very basic skills such as counting money, newborn care and how to utilize the bus system.  The support of her mentor resulted in keeping up with school through the online Florida Virtual School after she had the baby.  While the two stayed in frequent communication through home visits, phone calls and text messaging, Tori was faced with housing issues and had nowhere to live.  Her mentor, with help from HMHB, was able to connect her with a home for young mothers in which Tori now lives.  While she has completed our program, she stays in touch with her mentor and continues to be so grateful for their time together.  Without the constant support from her mentor, Tori said she would have given up and continued to rely on others rather than empowering herself to become independent.  She is proudly completing her GED and her son Isaiah is a healthy baby boy who will soon celebrate his first birthday.”

To learn more about Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies visit their website here.

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