VANESSA'S STORY

Not Another Teen Mom Statistic

“When I got pregnant as a 17-year-old, I was living with someone who was already in trouble herself with child neglect charges and drug issues,” said Vanessa, a recent graduate from our home visitation program. “I would trust a stranger before I trusted anyone in my family. I felt very alone and scared. When you become a teen parent, no one is checking in on you to ask, ‘How are you doing today?’ But my home visitor did. She cared about how I was doing. She asked me how I was feeling.”

Before entering our home visitation program, Vanessa and her growing family had a high probability of becoming another unfortunate statistic. She fit several characteristics – low-income, a single teen mom, estranged from her own family and a history of trauma. Parents like Vanessa and those with histories of violence and physical and substance abuse stand the greatest chance of abusing and neglecting their own children.

Wanting more for her child, Vanessa voluntarily enrolled in our home visitation program at Cornerstones of Care. The home visitation program is a child abuse prevention program for families or individuals expecting a baby, or with a newborn in the home. Participation in the home visitation program can last up to five years. Throughout the program we provide in-home education and parenting support.

While enrolled, Vanessa’s family grew to a total of three children, all of which received services from the program during the first few years of their life. Additionally, after completing one of our relationship education programs, like ShowMe Healthy Relationships, Vanessa and the children’s father got married. She has also since obtained her driver’s license, stayed with the same employer, and recently entered the two oldest children into pre-school.

“My home visitor helped me boost my self-esteem,” said Vanessa. “Without her encouragement, I don’t know where I would be. The program helped me learn how to be a better parent, especially when I had more children and my stress increased …”

"The program helped me figure out what my priorities are and how to achieve them. My home visitor kept saying, ‘We’ll get there.’ She believed in me.”

Vanessa and her family successfully graduated from the home visitation program in 2015. Learn more about our in-home family prevention services, like the home visitation.

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“My home visitor helped me boost my self-esteem. Without her encouragement, I don’t know where I would be. The program helped me learn how to be a better parent.”

—Vanessa, mother