One Mom at a Time

Savannah-Blog

The Impact of Catholic Charities Atlanta’s In Home Parenting Education Program

Catholic Charities Atlanta provides in home parenting education to moms who lack support and are a part of a high risk population due to homelessness, domestic violence, mental health issues, and learning disabilities. Some of the moms we assist are also young, inexperienced, and ill-prepared for motherhood. Our goal is to help these mothers  become self-sufficient and provide them  with the skills necessary to effectively and lovingly parent their children and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Our caring, experienced Parent Specialist meets with over 30 women each year for a six to nine month parenting program. She visits these women in their home and helps them with basic parenting skills, baby safety, nutrition, child development, and budgeting. Additionally, the parenting specialist assists the moms with referral information for accessing and linking additional services that they may need (i.e. WIC, Medicaid applications, financial literacy, legal services and counseling.)

The Parent Specialist’s individualized work makes a significant impact on the lives of the moms who participate in this program. Below is one of the many letters that we receive from grateful clients who have benefitted from our parenting education program, called “Parent Talk.”

 “Some of the best things in life come unexpectedly.  I first heard of Catholic Charities Atlanta from a friend of mine, who recommended that I call and see what services I can get to help me take care of my daughter better. By the time I made my first call, I was seven months pregnant. The information I got was that there was a short waiting time period and someone would get back to me and luckily enough after giving birth and my daughter was a week old, I got the call, that it was my turn. In about two weeks I got to meet the social worker and that was the start of a very interesting learning adventure.

A lady by the name of Esther Gonzalez called me on the phone, a parent specialist, introduced herself and told me about Catholic Charities. She told me what to expect and finally we set up a day to meet. As I waited for the agreed upon date, a lot went through my mind.  Though she had told me what to expect, I still waited anxiously. I have learned a lot that I have applied in raising my baby girl. Esther handled and interacted with my daughter with much care and patience. She taught me safety, nutrition and what to expect at different stages of growth and development. I have used the informative handouts/booklets and videos as reference and guides so many times to raise my daughter. Esther listens too and I strongly believe that is one of the best characteristics that define a good person. Many of us, most of the time, need just someone to listen. Also, she was very concerned about our well being, in a way you cannot imagine. To sum it up, I would like to thank Catholic Charities for the wonderful help that I have received from them. Importantly, the parent teaching sessions, diapers, wipes, clothes, handouts/booklets, and videos that I have applied in raising my daughter. Also I want to thank Miss Esther Gonzalez, for the good heart and wonderful teachings, patience and listening. I would definitely recommend it to any mother out there.”

Thank you,
Savannah

About Our Parent Talk Program

Catholic Charities Parent Talk Program serves to educate, strengthen and support pregnant and parenting families to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment so that they may achieve their full potential.

We serve a diverse mix of clients (adults and teens), including high-risk expectant parents, new parents and other caregivers/guardians raising infants. Services focus on family support and early intervention.

Parent Talk is a voluntary intensive, parenting skills education program with services provided in your home including:

  • Assistance with goal setting to help moms meet their basic needs;
  • Free baby supplies and layettes when available
  • Counseling Services
  • Information and Referral
  • Case Management
  • Child/Family Assessments
  • Child Development Screenings

For more information, please contact our client intake line at 404-920-7745 or email ppahelp@catholiccharitiesatlanta.org.

Donate

The In Home Parenting Education Program is provided free of charge to the mothers who participate as most of them live below the poverty level and do not have the support of family. To help Catholic Charities Atlanta continue to provide this vital program for mothers in our community, please consider making a donation to our Mother’s Day Appeal by clicking here.

Additionally, we accept donations for new moms in the form of gift cards, diapers (newborn to size 4), wipes, pack and plays, baby toiletries, and baby rash creams.  To donate baby supplies, please contact Sandy Thompson at 404-920-7748 or by email at sthompson@catholiccharitiesatlanta.org.

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A Mother’s Letter of Thanks


Mother’s Day is a time to honor the mothers in our lives. Often it is a time for mothers to reflect on what motherhood has meant to them and the impact they have had on their children’s lives.

Below is a letter from one of our clients who received help from Catholic Charities Atlanta’s (CCA) Pregnancy Counseling Services Program over twenty years ago. The letter speaks to the heart of the impact of CCA’s services on a client’s life. CCA continues to offer this program as it did twenty years ago when a young, single pregnant woman entered our offices.

“Thank you for the help and encouragement you gave to me twenty years ago. A few years ago, I wrote and told you how the baby you helped had grown and now had siblings. Well, the little boy is now 19, graduated high school and is now at college. I wanted you to know how well the child you helped has done. My Joshua was salutatorian of his class. He took honors classes and was involved in three sports for most of his high school career. He earned his Eagle Scout award as well as many other awards, honors and scholarships. He was offered a full ride to college and is now studying chemical engineering.

Throughout Joshua’s graduation, I kept recalling his beginnings. I thought of how alone and upset I felt when I found out I was pregnant. How I wondered what was going to happen. I called your office and was assigned a counselor. Your staff treated me with dignity and held that my precious unborn child had dignity all his own. I did end up raising Joshua and marrying his father. As we listened to Joshua’s graduation speech, with about 3,000 other people, he told his teachers and coaches thank you. And looking directly towards his father and me, he thanked us. Tears flowed down my face as I watched him stand under the cross in his gymnasium and thought, ‘God, you keep all your promised.’ Only God knew what this child was going to accomplish and what he has ahead of him. God knew this child and because of this child standing in front of all these people, my whole life changed. He made me learn about myself and who God was. This child made me really look at what I thought was important and realize how unimportant so many things really were. He helped me to see my views about abortion were totally wrong. God has a purpose for Joshua as he does for everyone.

Twenty years ago, someone told me, ‘the child you’re carrying will accomplish many things, and turn out be a fine young man.’ Being pregnant and alone is a scary, difficult place, filled with everyone’s opinions. Your office was a safe, loving retreat for me. Thank you. I felt cared about and supported not only emotionally, but financially. Because of what you did for me, I have been able to go on and support other young, single pregnant women. I have a group that meets at my home and they talk about their lives. I often share what a help Catholic Charities Crisis Pregnancy Counseling was for me. I can never repay you for the gift you gave me.

You give babies a chance to become what God has called them to be. What great work all of you do. Please don’t become discouraged, but be encouraged. You make huge differences in people’s lives. Your work is some of the most important on this Earth. My thanks to you is so small, but know you were a part of that child addressing all those people at his graduation. You are a part of his world and both our lives and every life you help. What holy work you all do. May you be blessed.”

In great love and gratitude,

Mary

About Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Pregnancy Counseling Services

We provide free, professional counseling to assist you and your family with decision making, problem solving, and goal setting. Our services are aimed at helping families make positive plans that include parenting, adoption, or kinship care for your unborn child.

If you are a pregnant woman who is in crisis about your pregnancy or undecided about which plan is best for you and your baby, our trained and caring staff offers encouragement, support, and guidance as you take the steps to carry your baby to term.

For more information about this program, please visit our website.

Donate

To donate to our Mother’s Day Appeal and help us continue to offer these vital services, please click on the DONATE NOW button.

 

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