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Twin Cedars: Preparing after teen pregnancy

Dear Experts,

I recently learned my teenage daughter is pregnant. This was not in our plan for her. We know she wants to keep the baby and we support her decision. How can she learn to become the best parent she can be?

Regards,

Mrs. Stokes

Dear Mrs. Stokes,

Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, Inc. offers a free program exclusively for teen and young adult parents ages 10-23.

Some of our program services include:

• Family assessments designed to evaluate the strengths and needs of the family.

• Child developmental screenings identify developmental concerns during the critical years of the child’s development.

• Family life skills provide life skills training that includes money management, securing housing, managing a household, cooking, sewing, nutrition, health, and spiritual enrichment to improve daily living.

• Community linkage ensures connections to community resources to effectively establish a plan to meet the immediate needs of the family for long-term support and stability.

• Parent-child activities promote appropriate parent and child interactions while decreasing potential opportunities for child maltreatment.

• Nurturing skills help families replace destructive parenting habits with nurturing parenting attitudes and practices while helping teens make wise choices on difficult developmental issues they face.

We also provide transportation to ensure appointments are kept if parents are working.

Circle of Care (COC) is a secondary pregnancy prevention program offering an array of services to teen and young adult parents. Circle of Care was established in 1997 by the Troup Family Connection Authority (TFCA) in collaboration with Troup Count Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), District Four Health Services and community partners with the goal of addressing the rising repeat teen pregnancy rates in the community.

Many years later, Circle of Care became a Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, Inc. program and in 2012, the program was expanded to Heard and Meriwether counties.

Circle of Care’s goals are to strengthen parenting competencies and promote strong parent-child interactions and attachments. Increase knowledge of positive parenting and child development to help our young parents develop a realistic understanding of their child’s capabilities or behaviors and then implement strategies for effective parenting that builds strong healthy relationships.

Access to community resources through our many partners and stakeholders connect parents with services and information to meet their specific need. Ultimately, our goal is that each parent graduate high school and become a productive member and contributor to our community while eliminating the opportunity for child abuse and neglect.

For more information about Circle of Care, contact Dedtria Shepherd at dshepherd@twincedars.org or 706-298-2148 extension 1225. Please visit our website at www.twincedars.org.

Ask an expert

Twin Cedars staff

Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services may be contacted at 706-298-0050. Anyone who wants to submit a question to be answered in this column may send it to Twin Cedars, Attn: Mike Angstadt, PO Box 1526, LaGrange, GA 30241.