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(CC BY-SA 2.0 photo / Flickr user Charles Wiriawan)

A group of young mothers have completed a three-year program of the University’s Mt. Hope Family Center that offers support to them in their new roles as parents. The program, Building Healthy Children (BHC), provides early intervention services to young mothers who were under 21 when their first child was born. Earlier this fall, the latest group of 17 mothers and their families celebrated their graduation during a ceremony at the Strong Museum of Play.

BHC incorporates a combination of evidence-based therapies and outreach support services to assist with basic family needs including food, clothing, and shelter,  and follow through on medical visits (for example, reminders, scheduling, and providing transportation). The seamless integration of the interventions provides young mothers with comprehensive services addressing parenting education, support in developing positive parent-child relationships, treatment for maternal depression, employment and educational support and any other needed support services.

Speakers at the graduation included United Way of Greater Rochester President and CEO Fran Weisberg and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.

“United Way is proud to work with Monroe County and Mt. Hope Family Center to support the Building Healthy Children program to help moms and children remain healthy, enhance their positive parenting practices and reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect,” said Weisberg. “And we’re so proud of these moms who have put in a lot of hard work to get to this exciting day.”

Over 200 mothers have graduated from BHC.  A collaboration of Mt. Hope Family Center, Strong Pediatrics, and Strong Social Work, the program is supported by the Monroe County Department of Human Services and the United Way of Greater Rochester.

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