In 2012, the Young Parents Network (YPN) recognized many young and high-risk moms and dads were unable to participate in evening programming. With a grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, YPN was able to offer daytime programming and support for these families including a Parents as Teachers Group, a Hispanic Prenatal Group, and home visits with a parent educator.
YPN’s mission is to “prevent adolescent pregnancy and build successful families.” Daytime offerings assist in continuing this mission by providing additional support to those in need.
Monica, a Hispanic Prenatal Daytime Group participant who immigrated here from Mexico, has found the services to be very beneficial in preparing for the birth of her daughter. “I learned changes I needed to make to have a healthy pregnancy,” says Monica. “I also learned about the development of my baby. I am happy they can help me learn in my language, because I do not always understand the doctors.”
Monica also explains the comfort she feels from the group experience; to know there are others in the community that share her fears and questions, and that she is not alone. She found the Power Point and video portions of each session very helpful, especially when, “the Doctor came to talk about the process of delivery and how to bring my baby into the world.”
When asked if she felt prepared for the delivery of her daughter, Monica says, “I was very nervous, but I was ready because of what I learned in group. I knew about the hospital procedures, and what they were going to do to my baby. I learned not to be afraid to ask questions.”
A year after implementation, the project has served 24 individuals (parents) through daytime program offerings and 46 individuals through home visits (including 16 dads). Additionally, 48 children benefited from services offered and 10 healthy babies were born. By being flexible in its program offerings, YPN was able to make a greater impact on the families they serve.