Kidsave’s Teen Mom’s Program is targeted for high-risk pregnant teens and young mothers who are often orphans themselves – and often are second or third generation orphans. The program offers a chance at a better life for the girls and their babies.
Since these young women were not raised in a loving family environment, they are unable to care for themselves and their babies. They do not understand how to build a relationship with their children. They do not know what labor will be like, what it means when a baby cries, how to change a diaper, what is considered normal development, or any other myriad of things that are important to bearing and raising a happy and healthy child. Furthermore, once their pregnancies are discovered, they are often evicted from their dormitories, eliminating any chance they had at gaining the education required to hold a job and establish their own families. As a result, many of these young women relinquish their children to state care, perpetuating the damaging cycle of child abandonment and institutionalization.
The Teen Mom program seeks to
- Build and strengthen the basic secure attachment between a young mother and her child
- Provide guidance and support to young mothers to raise their children
- Recruit and train at least one mentor per girl
- Help with young mothers’ socialization
The Teen Mom program is usually conducted in partnership with a government entity that supports youth who are at risk or provides shelter for pregnant youth. Young women are given mentors, successful moms from the community who guide them on how to care for and nurture their child.
These mentors also support the girl, in exploring opportunities for work and housing. They ultimately support the moms as they make the transition to their own housing and jobs — living on their own with their child in the community. Birth dads, when available, are supported too.
Kidsave has managed the Teen Mom program in Russia (where it is called Malenkaya Mama) and managed by a local crisis center. We also created a program in Colombia where it is managed by the government child welfare agency, the Instituto Colombiano Bienestar Familiar.
An ongoing concern is that the great majority of Eastern European orphans and orphanage graduates don’t have enough knowledge and skills to start an independent life. They do not have the skills to pursue vocational education, find a good job, or work to their potential.
Kidsave’s Individual Mentoring program, branded Strong Shoulders — Connections for Success started in Russia. It is a mentoring and social adaptation program that empowers at-risk youth to build healthy, productive independent lives by connecting them to caring adult mentors who will help them to succeed.
The program provides tools that enables organizations to recruit, screen and train adult mentors. The trained mentors then provide at-risk youth with personal connectedness, supervision and guidance, financial and legal literacy, life skills development, vocational training, internship and career opportunities a sense of self-worth, goals and hope for a successful future.
Kidsave’s Corporate Mentoring program was created for the most vulnerable youth, 14-18-year-old orphan and foster children who are about to emancipate from institutional care and youth age 19-23 living independently or in group homes. The goal of Kidsave’s Corporate Mentoring Program is to help these kids begin to plan for their futures in ways they never have considered.
We help them
- Understand their interests for their working lives,
- Increase their confidence to manage in the workforce and in society,
- Increase their motivation and readiness to work and
- Support their basic understanding of money management.
Started in Russia, the Corporate Mentoring Program is now operated by Kidsave’s Partner, Childhood Keepers. As of 2018, there were about 105,000 orphans living in institutional care in Ukraine. Every year there are about 10,000 young people, ages 18-23, emancipating from the child welfare system. The majority don’t have enough knowledge and skills to start an independent life. They lack essential life and professional skills. In the situation of current political and economic crisis it has a raising negative impact on their ability to obtain vocational education, quality jobs and fulfill their potential.
Engaging business and community leaders to support at risk youth, the program methods provide strategies for how to engage business in career mentoring and how to motivate the kids toward greater professional and personal development.
Kidsave currently Corporate Mentoring partners in Ukraine are located in Kiev, Lviv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Ivano-Frankovsk.