Parenting is hard work. It can be doubly hard for young parents, especially if they don’t have a strong network of support.
Foster youth are significantly more likely to be parents by age 19 than their non-foster care peers. They are also more likely to have a child placed in foster care. Nearly a quarter of the young people who join First Place have or are expecting children when they enter our program, and these young parents often cite their desire to be good parents and give their children a better life as a major factor in choosing to First Place.
Just as we help our program participants develop the skills and find the resources they need to succeed in school and career, we also help them build stronger parenting skills and connect them with additional support and resources. Every day, we see how hard they are working to build better futures for themselves and their children, and we recently took time out to celebrate their dedication at Mother’s and Father’s Day events.
A tea party brunch in May gave our moms the chance to come together and share their experiences with motherhood as they enjoyed a sweet and savory treats served by First Place staff. They day also offered art activities for their children, and a professional photographer was on hand to provide family portraits.
In June, it was the dads’ turn to celebrate with a trip to the bowling alley and a meal together that offered time to talk about what it means to them to be fathers. Of course, no Father’s Day is complete without a heartfelt card and a gift of socks.
“I believe it’s important to show our mothers and fathers [in program] that we are proud of them and support their journey,” said Carmen Gomez, Administrative Associate in First Place’s Oakland Office, who led the planning of the events.