Although Aiken County’s teen birth rate has steadily declined over the last two decades, it still holds the 33rd highest teen birth rate in the state. With this in mind, in conjunction with Fact Forward, Helping Hands Inc. is starting a new program aimed at offering support to teen mothers in Aiken County.
The program, Adult Identity Mentoring 4 Teen Moms (AIM4TM), an evidence-based intervention that reduces rapid repeat pregnancies among teen moms, increases consistent contraceptive use and promotes economic stability among young mothers.
Those eligible for AIM4TM are young mothers ages 15-19 with at least one child under 2 living in ZIP codes 29841, 29801, 29803, 29851, 29809, 29829 and 29842. Those mothers will work with a community health worker from Helping Hands over a course of 12 weeks. Throughout the 12 weeks, there will be eight sessions total – six of those done individually and two with a group. These sessions will be delivered virtually, at the participants home or wherever the teen mom is most comfortable.
This program is part of an effort to continue decreasing the rate of teen pregnancy. According to data provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the pregnancy rate has decreased 74% since 1991. Developed by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, this initiative seeks to give teen mothers the tools to consider the role of contraception going forward, to take control of their future and strengthen their identity as a mother.
“We are excited that our partnership with Fact Forward has given us the opportunity to bring more resources to Aiken County,” said Carmen Landy, CEO of Helping Hands. “The support and resources that teen moms will receive as a part of this program will help to empower them to determine the outcomes in their own lives. It will help them to only build hope for a brighter future, but also use their innate strengths to formulate a real plan by which to achieve it”
Trusted adults such as parents, counselors, service providers and faith leaders can refer, with consent, teen mothers to Helping Hands. They can email Tiiu Goode, director of community programing at email@example.com or call 803-648-3456 ext. 105.