Alley’s House mission is to empower teen mothers to achieve independence; a message that resonates with stakeholders based on their personal perspective and role. As Program Supervisor, I work hand in hand with our pathways participants to expand their perspective and identify what “independence” looks like for them.
Initially, some moms may express unfamiliarity and reservation dealing with topics on financial literacy and professional etiquette; questioning, “How will this help me on my path?” As they gain a deeper understanding of what their “independence” looks like they build an affinity to the wide range of topics and services Alley’s House can offer them.
In 2015, Alley’s House is focused on strengthening our programs;
- We’ve slowly transitioned from a social work model to a community counseling framework to enable us to expand our counseling program. All of our pathway participants undergo a self-improvement intake session and participate in 24 weeks of one-on-one self-improvement sessions led by LPC-Interns or Master’s Practicum students.In mid-February, our bi-weekly Teen Mom Group reached a tipping point where moms felt safe to share personal stories, shed tears, and allow moms to connect to each other in a more personal way. That afternoon, as mothers prepared to leave for the day, they all naturally gathered in a circle laughing and engaging in positive conversation. The transition to a community counseling model has undoubtedly strengthened the unity among Alley’s House staff, interns, volunteers, and moms.
- We are adding 20 units of curriculum to our core program to build a stronger financial literacy, professional development, and health and wellness curriculum. These will be modularized so we can take pieces of our core program to the community to reach moms through 5-session long community outreach workshops.
- We are working on enhancing all 60 workshops to be 50% standard classroom learning and 50% hands-on learning to enhance learning as students process the information using inquiry, discovery, and interpretation. This will ensure participants retain more information and have a sound basis for sharing that information with family, friends, and their child.
As you can see, there is much work to be done. But with the support of our current participants, alumni, board, staff, and community partners we will be able to build a program that measure and track changes in behavior, attitudes, skills, and knowledge and ensure that we can report qualitative success.
Our mothers know where they want to be 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years from now. As we listen to what “independence” means for them and their family then we can truly measure change, growth, and success.