St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has responded to one of the greatest unmet needs for children in Southern Nevada with the opening of our Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program.
Nevada has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country and teen mothers typically are not ready to parent on their own. More specifically, seven out of every ten pregnant teens drop out of high school. If there is no intervention, 68% of the girls who get pregnant between the ages of 10 and 14 years old will be pregnant again in 18 months. This holistic and comprehensive program provides that intervention.
Residents of the Program have initially been placed in St. Jude’s Ranch’s care by the Department of Family Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice System. Most have been taken from their natural parents or caregivers because of some form of abuse, abandonment or neglect.
The Program provides “at-risk” mothers the opportunity to receive training and guidance on parenting, job and life skills as well as social, academic and independent living skill development. Individualized and group therapy is also offered and all are delivered while focusing on the mother and baby’s health care needs throughout her pregnancy and beyond.
In addition to a parenting curriculum, all of our moms attend the local public high school and receive individualized case monitoring provided by trained and caring staff. Moms and their babies are able to stay until they are ready to transition to independent living or until eve of their 19th birthday. Working in the community and learning how to become a self sufficient and productive parent and member of society are core skills these young women will learn as residents of the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program.
The Ranch is grateful for the generous outpouring of community and donor support that has made the Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program a reality. Such kindness makes it possible for us to provide a safe, healthy and nurturing home for these young moms and their babies, while breaking the vicious cycle of abuse.