Ashley Rhodes Courter is a bestselling author, will be one of the speakers at this year’s National CASA’s conference, and was a longtime foster child. Her mother was a young teen when she had Ashley and was unable to parent adequately. Ashley is a very successful, driven woman who has beat the odds.
The odds were certainly stacked against her, as they are for all children born to mothers who are still in high school or younger. Scaany.org states that, “The sons of teen mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison. The daughters of teen parents are 22% more likely to become teen mothers themselves.” Furthermore, “The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and at low birthweight, raising the probability of infant death, blindness, deafness, chronic respiratory problems, mental retardation, mental illness, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, and hyperactivity.”
Scaany’s article goes on to highlight the importance of intervention services for teen mothers. It says, “Prevention also extends to programs that are proven to reduce harm and improve outcomes for parents and children. Home visiting and parent education are critically important during the prenatal and postpartum periods because they help strengthen families through support and education. For example, programs that include life skills training can result in a reduction in the frequency and severity of abuse and neglect.11 The decrease in maltreatment is a direct result of improved parental skills—parents learn in home visiting programs how to manage their anger, how to discipline their children effectively and without violence, and how to ask for help and support when they need it.”
We are happy to say that we’re aware of a program here in Boone County/Rockford that checks all those boxes for Hispanic or Latino families. It is provided through La Voz Latina and you can get more information below.