Young Parents Project
The FSU Young Parents Project is an intensive, home visiting program that addresses the complex needs of court-involved expectant and parenting teens and their young children. Respecting the teen’s right to parent with support, safety, and dignity, the project addresses systemic barriers and the intergenerational cycle of early parenting, trauma, violence, and involvement with the courts. The project was initiated in 2005 and evolved into an interdisciplinary home visiting model that includes a Site Coordinator, Infant Mental Health Specialist, and Nurse Educator.
The Project serves youth in Leon and surrounding rural counties in North Florida and Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in South Florida. The criteria for participation in the program include youth who:
have entered the delinquency and/or dependency system(s);
are expectant/parenting (ages 13-19 at the time of intake);
and have custody or visitation privileges with their children.
The FSU Young Parents Project has taken the essential components of Yale University’s Minding the Baby® model for use in working with court-involved teen parents. The overall focus of the model supports child and maternal health, child development, and positive parenting behaviors.
The integrated approach used by the team enhances the parent-baby relationship by supporting reflective functioning- teaching the teen to “keep their baby in mind.” The core of Minding the Baby ® surrounds three key elements:
Promoting secure attachment, parental reflectiveness, health & mental health, self-efficacy
Supporting reflectiveness through relationships
Using an interdisciplinary approach
Yale School of Medicine, Child Study Center. (2023). Minding the baby. Retrieved from Click here
Outcome: Reduced recidivism
Of the 35 teens that participated during the fiscal year 2021-22, only two had an additional law violation during their time in the Young Parents Project.
Outcome: Reduced number of subsequent births
Two (6%) of the young mothers had a subsequent birth; whereas national data indicates that 25% of teen parents will have a second child within 24 months of their first baby.
Outcome: Increased number of youth continuing their education
Of the 35 program participants, an increase was noted in youth school enrollment from 60% at the time they enrolled in the program, to 66% after 3 months in the project. The high rates of child welfare involvement and human trafficking impact the teens’ school enrollment and academic progress.
The FSU Young Parents Project strives to transform the lives of teen parents and their children through supportive relationships, advocacy and parenting education, as well as providing the trauma-informed intervention necessary to promote healthier, happier young families.
Home Visiting Team
Jill Little - Project Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Precious Wilcox - Site Coordinator - email@example.com
Renee Rivers - Counselor - Renee.Rivers@fsu.edu
Melissa Ibanez - Nurse Educator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie Joseph - Nurse Educator - Natalie.Joseph@fsu.edu
Latasha James-Bodie - IMH Specialist - email@example.com
Denise Webb - Yale Program Consultant - firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Mitchell - Data Entry - email@example.com