The first step towards ensuring a safe, nurturing and healthy life of a child is removing the abused from their dangerous environment; however the alternative Foster Care System can be just as painful. Furthermore certain “special” populations of foster care youth are overlooked within traditional systems of child welfare. More often than not, teenage mothers in foster care are separated from their child at birth because no programs exist to accommodate them…until now.
At the age of 74, foster parent Helen Coppage saw the need for a dedicated residential program that would allow teenage foster mothers and their babies to remain together as mother and child; one that would teach them the additional skills they would need to be independent and self-sufficient parenting adults. With seven years of profound determination, Our Mother’s Home of Southwest Florida, Inc. became a reality; after being dedicated on Mother’s Day of 2000. Helen passed away later in the same year at 81.
Since then over 400 mothers and children have benefited from Our Mother’s Home Mentored Living Program, successfully preserving families, transitioning foster mothers to self-sufficiency and saving the lives of children by avoiding their re-entry into foster care.
Help Support Our Cause
Collect spare change in a baby bottle. Keep one by your washer, in your car, or at the office. Pick up a bottle at Our Mothers Home. When it’s full, drop it off and pick up an empty one. (Or use any baby bottle available).
Big Hearts Society
Our Big Hearts Society offers 5 levels of pledges ranging from diaper donations to tutoring. Find a level that works for you and become a member. Find out more…
Planned giving doesn’t just mean cash donations. It can include end of year gifts of real estate, stocks, life insurance and bequests. All these options offer a variety of tax advantages.
Why Donate to Our Mother’s Home?
By simultaneously mentoring foster mothers to care for their child, counseling them to overcome histories of childhood abuse and keeping them together with their baby throughout, Our Mother’s Home is BREAKING the CYCLE OF FOSTER CARE for this forgotten “special” population of youth. We promote their independence and integration into society through the delivery of support services including, but not limited to LIFE SKILLS Training and Activities (i.e. cooking, personal care, housekeeping, financial literacy, grocery shopping, etc.)
Adolescent mothers continue their high school education and receive the tutoring classes they need. The girls participate in our “Nurturing Parenting Program” which introduces positive family values, which were foreign to them as children living in long-term multiple foster placements. Just as importantly, each young mother and her child receive proper medical care including pre/post natal care, well-child visits, vision, dental, physical and mental care.
Funds go to Mentored Living Program
Moms & Kids Benefitted
This is only half of the story…
Without you, our community of family and friends, what would become of adolescent girls like Carmen who had never known how old she was but still had a baby, was sexually abused by multiple family members but chose to keep her baby, conceived against her will? Or Elizabeth whose biological parents were both addicted to crack, but thanks to you, she is thriving now at age 20, dedicated to raising her child in a home where love presides, above all. As their surrogate families, what would we have them teach their children…and their grandchildren?
Your commitment to Our Mother’s Home will do more than save the life of a child…it will preserve our community’s future as these children grow up becoming active members of society, our teachers and leaders. In addition, we have designed our Mentored Living Program as a prototype home and model program that, with your help, could be duplicated all across the country.
What could be more rewarding then saving a child’s future!
Please join forces with us without delay; your financial commitment will change lives.
Each year Our Mother’s Home averages four (4) resident foster mothers “aging out” on their 18th birthday, who are no longer supported by the foster system even though they have a child and are still in high school. Our Mentored Living Program is dedicated to helping these young women transition from foster care to self-sufficiency, without giving up their children, their education or their hopeful futures.
- 100% of funds received will go directly to our Mentored Living Program
- 20-40% of our Nation’s Homeless Population consists of Former Foster Care Youth
- Without you…These children would become statistics, repeating the cycle of abuse and neglect.
- Without you…59% of Foster Girls having a child will NOT complete high school, or become self-sufficient.
- Without you…Our children’s burden of cost will grow exponentially (by the millions) if we allow these foster care and welfare cycles to continue.
Source: Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy 12/2008
Our non-funded cost per day is $505.17
Just a few examples of Our Mother’s Home success!
Sean arrived at Our Mother’s Home as an infant diagnosed with “failure to thrive” syndrome from lack of nurturing. Sean and his mother, a victim of Human Trafficking, had been separated for eleven months; she was forced to work in the fields while baby Sean laid swaddled on a wooden palette. When they were reunited at Our Mother’s Home, Sean was 21 months old, but functioned only at the level of a 6 month old. He would not respond to external stimulation, nor would he smile or interact with us. He was unable to swallow properly, and suffered from severe epilepsy (seizures) and asthma. Within months at Our Mother’s Home, Sean began to “thrive” receiving the physical and speech therapy he so desperately needed to save his life. His doctors/specialists were amazed at his progress. Now he rolls over, has discovered his hands and feet and responds to his name and sounds. He recognizes people, has a contagious laugh and a magnetic smile. He is able to chew and drink on his own; his seizures and asthma are under control. The staff at Our Mother’s Home has worked tirelessly to rehabilitate Sean while his mother learns to do the same. What would the future cost to our community be if Our Mother’s Home weren’t here?
Eva had the deck stacked against her upon arriving at Our Mother’s Home. She conceived Jose against her will. At birth he was placed with different foster parents than Eva who was sent to live in a group foster home. There were no foster homes that could take foster mother and child together. Eva got her first break when her tenacious caseworker found Our Mother’s Home. Shortly after, mother and son were elatedly reunited. Eva spoke only a Guatemalan dialect of Spanish and had very little formal education. After only 4 years of devotion to her studies, Eva was turning 18 and now spoke fluent Englishand enhanced Spanish; she was just one year away from graduating high school. It would have been easy for Eva to stumble. Not yet graduated, but forced to be totallyindependent and with a young child. Once again Eva received the good fortune when a previous Board President of Our Mother’s Home offered her accommodation at their home while she completed high school. Eva passed her FCATs and fulfilled her long held dream to graduate high school. Eva now has her own apartment, has a driver’s license, a car, and is utilizing a scholarship to Edison State College. Jose is in school thriving beyond words. Eva’s journey has been fraught with challenges but she has risen to all of them. Where would she and her son be today without Our Mother’s Home?
OUR MOTHER’S HOME IS SPONSORED IN PART BY:
Florida Department of Children and Families
Children’s Network of Southwest Florida