Parent Support and Education
Young Parent Support Program
Designed for parents ages 16-24, this parenting education and support program brings staff directly into each young parent's home - which all too often is a homeless shelter - to provide information on a variety of parenting topics. Many topics are broad-based, such as discussing and modeling developmentally appropriate play. Parents may also need support and information more specific to their needs, such as caring for an infant with asthma.
At their initial meeting, young parents and staff set parenting goals that will guide their work together. Program participants are invited, with or without children, to participate in a weekly parenting support group at the YWCA, in order to learn from each other and begin to break the isolation many young parents experience. These young families also have the option of attending field trips throughout the year with YWCA staff to the library, local parks, and other free-of-charge, family-friendly activities in and around Lowell.
Parent Aid Program
Parent Aides provide one-on-one, in-home intensive case management services for families who are in crisis. Parent Aides assist families with immediate basic needs, such as accessing food, shelter, or possibly health care. As part of the initial assessment process, a Parent Aide will determine which services a family might be eligible for, and immediately start the process of helping the head-of-household - usually a single mom - apply for those services. Parent Aides also assist with basic household management, such as creating a budget and managing payment of household bills.
Since the goal of the program is to help stabilize families, Parent Aides customize a plan with each family to ensure that their unique issues are quickly addressed. As the family and Parent Aide continue their work together, parents learn how to advocate for themselves and their children so that family stabilization is maintained after Parent Aide services end, in approximately 6-9 months. Services are available in English, Spanish, and Khmer.