One out of every three teen mothers drops out of high school.
By responding to the specific needs of pregnant and parenting youth, the Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program, Project ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training), and the ELECT Fatherhood Initiative help young people raise healthy children and become better parents.
These programs teach skills that lead to success in school and economic self-sufficiency. Teens receive assistance in obtaining their high school diplomas or GEDs. At the same time, they learn effective parenting skills and are encouraged to become responsible adults and informed parents.
The BCIU’s programs combine to provide year-round services for pregnant and parenting teens in Berks County school districts.
What makes the Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program, Project ELECT, and the ELECT Fatherhood Initiative successful is the total support students receive. Program staff visit with students in school and in their homes to assess individual needs.
The primary goal for the individual student is to graduate from high school or earn a GED.
Ongoing group counseling sessions are a successful component of the programs. Students attend parenting classes and workshops on child development and nutrition. Collaboration with community organizations allows for workshops on such topics as domestic abuse, self-esteem, and job training, as well as in-home support services.
School attendance is monitored, and incentives are awarded to eligible students for outstanding school attendance.
The ELECT program is designed to meet the varied needs of pregnant and parenting teens.
ELECT program goals include helping teen parents to: complete their high school education – gain economic independence, and -become effective parents.
ELECT staff members work in collaboration with school district personnel.
Assistance to students is individualized and addresses the unique needs of each student. The program offers services to students year-round, so that continuity of contact is maintained.
Emphasis is placed on school attendance, academic progress, and job readiness, as well as on healthy parenting skills. Individual and group supportive services are provided. Students are seen biweekly at a minimum, more frequently if necessary.
The BCIU’s Pregnant and Parenting Teen services are designed for the teen parent who is struggling with balancing school, family, and work responsibilities.
A seamless network of services is provided in the following areas:
BCIU Pregnant and Parenting Team Services:
Who is eligible?
Pregnant or parenting teens who are under age 22 and who are enrolled in a Berks County school or GED program are eligible for services.
The BCIU’s ELECT Fatherhood Initiative aims to increase awareness of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children; foster better relationships among fathers, their children, and their families; and strengthen the family bond.