Strengthening Families Through Counseling, Education and Mediation

Unmarried Parenthood

Unwed parenthood has resulted in the fastest growing family structure trend in the U.S.  Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics data indicate that in 1979 nineteen percent of single-parent homes resulted from unwed parenthood.  In 1992 non-marital childbearing accounted for 30% of single parent homes.  The frequency of non-marital child bearing equals divorce as a causal source to a child’s entry into a single parent household.

As a state, Utah has seen a 68% increase in children born to single teens between 1985 and 1991.  In this regard, Utah’s rate of growth exceeds the national rate of growth (20%) for the same time period.

Services Provided:

Family life lectures.  The intent of this program is to develop an impressionable presentation using a ‘best parenthood’ model to educate teens on the implications of unwed parenthood on the unborn child.  Exploration of the psychological/social forces behind the choice to conceive would occur as well.  This model will focus on both gender’s roles with respect to the subsequent experience of children born to unwed parents.  The program is intended to be a preventative intervention.

A second component of these lectures is to impart valuable information relating to mate selection, being a better marital partner, handling marital stress, and the realities of divorce on the couple and their children.  These courses are intended to be conducted to influence future choices relating to the family life.  As such the target population for these services will be high school juniors and seniors.

Unmarried pregnancy assistance program.  This program would coordinate psychological services with medical services.  The intervention will include identified father’s in resolving future decisions relating to unborn children.  A ‘best interests of child’ model and ‘best parenthood’ model will be used as a structure to ensure the child’s well being after birth.  Combining these approaches is intended to reduce parental abandonment, fatherlessness, excessive welfare utilization, and better parenthood.  parents who choose to raise their child can use other programs offered by The Family Academy.

Unwed parent confidence program.  This program is an interactive parent training approach aimed at teaching new parents methods of child care, discipline, parent-child interaction training, as well as interpersonal support.  The didactic education of parents will being during pregnancy.  The interactive portion of the program will occur at various periods after child birth.  Other parent education programs offered by The Family Academy could be used later to maintain parenting skills.  It is hoped that early parental intervention and support will result in  improved parenthood and reduction in the mistreatment of children.

Adoption facilitation program.  This program is aimed at assisting unwed parents through the difficult, but often courageous, process of childhood adoption.  Coordination of counseling with allied professionals and agencies would occur.

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