Earlier this year we shared with you the inauguration of our Young Parent Network (YPN). We had high hopes this program would provide life-changing support to teenage parents in Vista and Oceanside. Though we are still in the early stages, we wanted to share with you a few of the ways these hopes are already being realized.
There are 59 pregnant or parenting youth who are currently participating in parenting groups which meet at two VUSD schools and at both our Vista and Oceanside offices. These parenting groups are critical in helping the youth to learn healthy stress-management techniques, how to develop a safe home environment for their child, and to develop positive parenting skills. They also learn communication and problem-solving skills as well as how to abstain from substance abuse.
Program Supervisor, Diana Trevino, announces, "Four of our YPN youth have obtained employment, one of which is already displaying tremendous leadership potential on the job. We are so proud of these youth - this is exactly the kind of activity and commitment which will improve their lives as well as their children's lives."
Lifeline staff wholeheartedly believes in the power of positive peer influences. In addition to peer support and group activities, the youth in this program are matched with Parent Partners. These Parent Partners are Lifeline staff members who know firsthand the challenges of being a teen parent. They have walked in their shoes and can provide nonjudgmental support, encouragement, and guidance as the youth strive to make the best decisions possible.
What's next? There's more work to be done! In the next few weeks we will start a Seeking Safety therapy group. Additionally, our staff has been invited to present in the annual Life Skills Conference of the Cal-Safe teen parent programs. This conference brings teens from parenting programs in many high schools together for an opportunity to grow, reflect and set new goals. Lifeline staff Jennifer and Kristina will be presenting a workshop on STD's and Birth Control and an Employment Coach from the Family Self Sufficiency program will be offering a Dress for Success workshop.
Stay informed about what is going on at North County Lifeline.