Future Promises Helps Pregnant and Parenting Teens Build Promising Futures
By: Heather Hafer
Public Relations Coordinator, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County
Future Promises is a school/community-based program that offers education and support to pregnant and parenting teens to help them build their own promising future. This program helps young families stay in school and graduate from high school, have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, be a good parent and develop healthy relationships with others, and continue their education beyond high school.
Referrals are accepted by calling 317-221-3190. School guidance counselors or the school nurse can make referrals.
Future Promises offers:
Individual Assistance and Support, including:
- Staying in and graduating from high school
- Enrollment in college or vocational school
- Finding reliable childcare
- Obtaining quality and appropriate health care
- Housing and home life issues
- Paternity issues
- Public assistance
- Alternative educational programming to earn a GED
- Emotional support
- Grandparent support
Weekly Educational Seminars, including topics on:
- Your pregnancy and newborn journey
- Parenting education and skills for young mothers and fathers
- Pregnancy prevention education
- Improving communication and relationship skills
Out of School Activities, such as:
- Back to school picnic
- Winter holiday celebration
- College tour
- Year-end awards dinner
- Support during labor and delivery by certified doulas
Incentive Programs, such as:
- Earn incentive points for good grades and school attendance
- Use inventive points to purchase items for self or child at the Incentive store
- Annual college scholarship
- Awards for high grades, good school attendance and other positive behaviors
Future Promises held its annual Christmas Party on December 11 at Charles A. Tindley School. Program participants and their families were invited to have their photos taken with Santa, play games, eat a free lunch and—best of all—shop in the Incentive store.
Program participants earn incentive points throughout the school year for good grades and attendance and are able to use these points to purchase items for themselves or for their child/children in the incentive store (pictured right), set up for the day at Tindley. The store was generously stocked with toys, diapers, toiletries, clothes, car seats, bounce seats and more. Participants were able to earn incentive points the day of the party for getting tested for STDs. They received points for each family member or friend in attendance who was tested as well. The Marion County Public Health Department offered the STD screenings.
Participants lined up outside of the incentive room, where they were given empty boxes for shopping, and as soon as everyone was in line, the doors opened and they rushed in to begin shopping. There was no shortage of supplies to be had! Everyone walked away with arms full of supplies.
“This program is such a blessing,” said one participant, who was due with her first child in December. “It really is helpful."