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Carol commented on Baby Beginnings Program

The Baby Beginnings (BB) program is basically "the carrot"-- something to get their attention while they involve themselves in the program by showing up. The program allows for each participant to stay involved for up to 5 years--and during that time we can help them troubleshoot barriers to self-sufficiency.  Many of the girls we work with at My Sister's Place we have helped with self-employment--cleaning offices, cooking jobs, child care etc. so that they were able to stay at home with their own children. But many want jobs but have no skills. To that end we have gathered some employers in the community who have agreed to take on some of the women for job training as well as to employ them in commission type work--which then translates into mentorship, building skills in customer service and working on their own self-esteem to  develop appropriate responses to the outside world.  Also, to help support the NPO, I started a for-profit venture last year selling a product in the community and have given women the opportunity to learn skills such as selling, marketing, building a customer base.  They also have opportunities to make extra money on the side selling at events, which gives them increased exposure to community work.  I have a tendency to encourage volunteer work with them as a way to heal themselves and meet other people who can help develop them.  I work with them and show them things about giving back-- no matter what you do in life--helping others, helps them!

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Carol commented on Baby Beginnings Program

Hi--Thanks for the message-- The Baby Beginnings program is part of the non-profit My Sister's Place--we originally started out in 2008 with a transitional house for 6 women who were released from prison. We did that for a few years and during that time we evolved into providing employment resources as well as training for other jobs that they can do for self-employment. We continue that work today and only recently added the BB program which is to address the needs of single female heads of household who were pregnant while incarcerated and/or had their babies while they were incarcerated but ready to get out within 18 months.  While this is proving to be a smaller population, we are looking at introducing the program to other needy women who are single heads of household.  The scope is to help the children stay in stable homes while providing resources to these moms so that they do not end up in prison or cause themselves to be separated from their children thus causing attachment issues which would have the snowball effect of children doing poorly in school and ultimately becoming juvenile delinquents. I hope to get the IU School of Social Work research class in Bloomington to help with devising a collection tool for the data needed to track the "other" women as i already have the tool for the women who have been previously incarcerated.