OAH’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund: Supporting Young Parents and Their Children

OAH’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund: Supporting Young Parents and Their Children


>>TERRESHA: I was young. I didn’t know which way to go. I actually didn’t, like, have resources and
didn’t know people. And they really helped me, like, take the
next step.>>DERRICK: I was put out as a teen father,
and Mr. Patterson stepped right in and sort of — I wouldn’t say he carried me — but
he pushed me to a point where he was like, “this is life, these things happen — it’s
how you overcome them and what you do about it that makes you. [intro music]>>NARRATOR: Teen pregnancy rates may be at
historic lows. Still, in 2015, nearly 230,000 babies were
born to girls between the ages of 15 to 19.>>BREANNA: When I found out I was pregnant,
I pretty much grew up. I was taking responsibility, even after the
father left me. I decided that it’s not time to be a kid anymore.>>NARRATOR: Parenting at any age can be difficult. Expectant and parenting young people have
added challenges as they balance parenting with transitioning into adulthood. The Office of Adolescent Health’s Pregnancy
Assistance Fund — or PAF — program promotes positive outcomes for parenting teens, women,
fathers, and even the young parents’ families.>>KEVIN: I would say new fathers fail at
whatever, at being a father because of a lack of knowledge. A lot of people don’t know that they have
help, that they aren’t in this alone.>>KENDRA GIBBS: So, there’s a lot of support
services in the community that will address the development of the baby itself, but there’s
not very many programs that focus on the teen, and how they need to develop as a person and
become a good parent.>>NARRATOR: PAF grantees implement a seamless
and integrated referral network of support services. Most services fall in one of five core domains:
personal health, child health, education and employment, concrete supports, and parenting
support.>>MAIA SCHAFER: You had a baby, okay. How can I help you keep going? How can I help you graduate? How can I help you get to college?>>STEVANA: Anything that involves your child
or yourself, they’re there for you.>>RAQUEL TERRY: Students are always welcome
to come to the center and get diapers, clothes, wipes, and gently used baby items all at no
cost.>>BREANNA: You can find help. You shouldn’t do this alone. I didn’t, you shouldn’t.>>NARRATOR: Many PAF Program grantees teach
young people, especially young fathers, how they can positively engage with their child
and how to adjust to their new role as a parent.>>BRANDON: I didn’t know how to be a parent
because I had my first child when I was 17. My dad left when I was maybe like six years
old.>>ANTHONY: I wasn’t that involved in my daughter’s
life. I’m ashamed to say, but it’s true. But then I found Stepping Up Together and
I found that there’s people out there who can help me succeed and help me give that
push.>>JOHN WHITE: We believe here with the Fatherhood
program that if we instill in the fathers to be that example to their child, whether
it’s a little boy or a little girl, it will go a long way in their lives.>>DAVID CARDINAL: Barbershop Talks originally
started off through the MI-APP program to engage fathers in the community, linking them
to that next generation of fathers.>>CORTEZ: I’m always in the barbershop. Sometimes I just I go there just to talk,
even though when I don’t get a haircut. It’s just good to be around a good community,
a good conversation.>>NARRATOR: PAF Program grantees give these
young people the resources and confidence to complete their education and take advantage
of new opportunities. They address the challenges that make it even
harder for youth who were already at risk of dropping out to stay in school.>>ADIA BURNS: Our program for the most part,
is in the schools to help support them to stay in school, so that they’re not dropping
out, that they can go on to graduate.>>NYLA: Through the workshops in New Heights,
we set goals as far as what schools we’re gonna apply to, how we’re going to do our
FAFSA.>>NARRATOR: Teen parents want to be successful,
for themselves and for their children. Through comprehensive services and supportive
staff, the PAF Program helps them achieve their goals.>>NATHAN: I don’t want my son to grow up
without having a father or a mother that graduated from school and dropped out. I don’t want him to think he’s able to drop
out.>>JEIMY: I want to finish my career because
that’s the only way I think I’m going to be able to support them later in life.>>TERRESHA: I’m a 21 year-old. I’m a single mother of one. I have one son. He’s three years old. I currently work at the emergency shelter. I will soon be seeking my secondary education.>>NYLA: Every day we all are like surpassing
the statistics, which I’m proud of. [closing music]

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