Nearly 50% of young people enrolled in Project YouthBuild are parents.
The majority of pre- and postnatal programs are underutilized by young parents due to a variety of factors. Young parents reported that they did not want health program staff to visit their homes due to fears of being reported to DCF or other authorities. Some young parents indicated that transportation was a barrier to obtaining needed healthcare. Others shared that they didn’t know what healthcare they needed while pregnant. Lastly, many young parents stated they simply did not have the resources available to fully participate in best practice pre- and postnatal care activities.
It became clear that a service gap existed between resources and young, low-income parents, resulting in children not having their medical needs met. In addition, young parents shared that they wanted to be the best parents they could be, but didn’t feel confident in the skills and knowledge necessary to be a nurturing parent capable of raising a healthy and happy child.
In response to the unmet needs of young parents in the community, PYB launched the PYB Parenting Program in 2020. The PYB Parenting Program was designed to serve a wide range of needs for young parents and their children. Emphasis was placed on creating a welcoming, supportive, and accessible environment for young parents to develop the skills and resources necessary to provide their child with the nurturing and healthy life they need to meet developmental milestones.
About the PYB Parenting Program
Who works directly with young parents and their children?
The PYB Parenting Program has a skilled team and strong group of partner organizations who work directly with young parents and their children. The Program Coordinator leads efforts to develop a schedule full of relevant, impactful, and evidence based programs for young parents to participate in throughout the year. Many of the program offerings will be delivered directly by the PYB team and others will be facilitated by experts from local partner organizations.
What types of classes, activities, and support does the PYB Parenting Program offer?
The PYB Parenting Program strives to provide a variety of educational and developmental class offerings to young parents covering topics such as:
- Strengthening Families Program curriculum
- Parent/Child reading groups
- Communication Skills
- Financial Literacy
- Positive Discipline
- Nutrition and cooking classes
- Improving family relationships
- Conflict Resolution
- How to co-parent effectively
- Prenatal and Postnatal HealthCare
- Stress Management
- Mental Health
- Childhood Development
- Phono-Graphix reading curriculum
- Sexual Health
- Benefits of sexual abstinence
- Support groups for mothers and fathers
- Playgroups/constructive play activities
- Consequences of subsequent pregnancies
- Methods for aiding intellectual development
- Methods for aiding language development
- Methods for aiding physical development
- Methods for aiding social development
In addition to regularly scheduled classes and activities, the PYB Parenting Program provides 1:1 case management services to all young parents who participate in the program. Case management support includes, but is not limited to:
- Development of parenting development plan
- Transportation assistance
- Counselling appointments
- Support services distribution
- Budget preparation
- Assistance with accessing childcare
- Utility assistance
- Benefit(s) applications
- Employment assistance
- Post-secondary financial aid assistance
Where do PYB classes, activities and meetings take place?
As mentioned above, the PYB team attempts to make all PYB Parenting Program offerings as accessible as possible to all young parents. In order to develop strong working relationships with young parents enrolled in the program, the PYB team encourages young parents to attend classes, activities, and meetings in person when possible. We understand that is not always possible, so the majority of program offerings will be available on Zoom for young parents who are unable to attend in person. Most classes, activities and meetings take place on the PYB campus and the Program Coordinator has an office at this location as well. Program offerings will take place at remote locations, such as local parks, partner organization facilities, local libraries on occasion. Lastly, PYB staff often meet with young parents at their home if young parents are comfortable doing so. The PYB team will work with young parents to mitigate barriers to attendance and accommodate to meet the needs of each individual when possible.
When are PYB Parenting Program Classes held?
We realize that young parents have varying schedules and one day/time will not work for everyone. Classes are offered on different days and different times throughout the week. Class days and times are often driven by the availability and interests of young parents in order to maximize participation. 1:1 meetings with staff are generally held between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, but exceptions can be made to accommodate special situations.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I have to be enrolled at Project YouthBuild to participate in the PYB Parenting Program?
• No, the PYB Parenting Program is available to any young parents who would like to participate.
How do I enroll in the PYB Parenting Program?
• All you have to do is complete an application and meet with the Program Coordinator to complete an intake interview. Applications are available at the Project YouthBuild campus or we can mail/e-mail an application to you to save a trip.
Can I bring my child(ren) with me to classes?
• It is ok to bring your child with you 99.99999999% of the time. If for some reason children are prohibited from attending a session you will be notified.
How much does it cost to participate in the PYB Parenting Program?
• It is FREE to participate in the program.
Are the classes just for moms?
• No, the majority of programs offered are open and relevant to both moms and dads.
What if I don’t have transportation to get to activities?
• In most instances, we can provide you with a bus pass. Most activities and classes are available via Zoom. Once you get to know other young parents involved in the PYB Parenting Program you may be able to carpool.
How many classes do I need to attend?
• You will determine this as you write your parenting development plan with the guidance and assistance of the Program Coordinator.
I’m not getting along with my parents, can you meet with them?
• We can meet with you and your parents to help mediate conflict and you will have the opportunity to work on conflict resolution and communication skills while in the program.
Will you help me get an apartment?
• If you are 18 or over we can help you determine if you can afford to live independently and assist you with locating and applying for affordable housing.
Do I have to have a child(ren) to participate in the PYB Parenting Program?
• No, anyone who is interested in learning how to be a great parent is welcome to participate.
Contact us to learn more about the Project YouthBuild Parenting Program.