Foundation provides grant for Healthy Families Teen Project
STEVENSVILLE — Eligible teenage mothers and their babies in Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties are learning important parenting skills throughout the year thanks to a grant from the Amerigroup Foundation awarded to local group, Chesapeake Charities.
The $27,500 grant supports Healthy Families MidShore’s Healthy Families Teen Project. This project serves local teens who are pregnant and at-risk of poor birth outcomes. Early results show the program has helped to improve access to prenatal care, decrease preterm and low-weight babies, and connect families to other medically necessary services, including depression counseling services.
The Healthy Families Teen Project uses an evidencebased accredited home visiting model. Trained home visitors build a sustained relationship with participants that impacts infant wellness by conducting developmental screens, providing referrals to community resources and delivering information on essential parenting skills. The curriculum guides teen parents to be self-sufficient, problem solvers and to build skills to reduce stress. New mothers also are taught the importance of breast feeding to their child’s development.
“Nothing is more precious or has more potential than a child,” said Dr. Lelin Chao, medical director, Amerigroup Maryland. “We’re proud to work with the Healthy Families Teen Project to support teen moms in Maryland’s eastern shore in getting their children off to strong starts and pointed toward bright futures.”
Ashley Knapp, who has a master’s degree in social work and previously served as an intern for Healthy Families, conducts the home visits, while Stacey Woodworth supervises the program. According to Woodworth, a recent participant said she liked the program because she could ask questions about her baby in her home without being judged.
Funding for the project was awarded to Chesapeake Charities, a community foundation, for Healthy Families Mid-Shore. The Healthy Families Teen Project operates under the direction of the Queen Anne’s County Department of Health in partnership with Talbot County Health Department and Kent County Health Department. For more information, please contact Shelly Neal-Edwards, LCSW-C, program director, at 410-758-0720 X 4464.
Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation that supports a wide range of charitable causes including education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment. All of its 75 funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. Together they have invested more than $8 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.
For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at 410-643-4020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www. chesapeakecharities.org. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
From left, Stacey Woodworth, supervisor with Healthy Families; Mary Ann Gleason, grants specialist for Chesapeake Charities; and Ashley Knapp of Healthy Families.