In a desparate situation, Jada was alone, facing homelessness for herself and her baby girl and an unplanned pregnancy. She called the Catholic Charities emergency help line looking for support and shared her trauma due to her upbringing. With care and compassion, our Pregnancy & Parenting Support case manager listened, assessed her needs, and guided her through her options: adoption or parenting.
While adoption was the initial plan, Jada knew she could be the mom her girls needed her to be. The family is happily getting settled in their new apartment with the help of Catholic Charities, and Jada now feels she can make better decisions, utilize resources available to her, and is accomplishing the goals that she and her case manager set forth. Jada shares, "I'm extremely thankful to my case workers at Catholic Charities. They never gave up on me and that has helped me be successful."
Meet Tiana's Family
Tiana shares, “I met my pregnancy and parenting support case manager, Erika when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. From the very first day, she called with so much joy and happiness in her voice.” “I immediately knew I was in good hands. Everything from bringing baby essentials, household essentials, to giving great references, and just being a great ear to listen. Ms. Erika not only did, but did with happiness!”
“I have a 10 year age difference in children so having a newborn was like being a first time mother all over again. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have made it without God and Ms. Erika.” “Even now, that my newborn is becoming a toddler, I still find myself needing her support. I will forever be grateful and appreciative of her, Catholic Charities, and all they have done for my family.”
With support from Catholic Charities, Tatyana received essential care for a healthy birth. Black mothers in the city of Milwaukee are four times more likely to have an adverse birth outcome. Our staff provides vital prenatal care coordination and parenting skills to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy receive the care they need for a healthy birth and first year for baby.
As a teen mother and high school student, Tatyana balances part-time work, studying, and caring for her children. Through a partnership with her school, Catholic Charities is a resource to Tatyana and other pregnant and parenting teens. Her case worker helps her learn about healthy child development and parenting. They work together on personal goals that will help Tatyana be the best mom she can be. Tatyana is hopeful for a bright future for her and her children as she continues pursuing her education. After graduating, she has her sights set on college and a career in nursing.
Meta was scared, 20 years old and living in an unsafe neighborhood. She was seven months pregnant and worried about having a baby. Her grandparents were worried about her too and knew that she needed more support than they could provide. Meta needed to find a safe place to live. She would also need help learning how to care for herself throughout her pregnancy and for a new baby. Meta and her grandmother reached out to Catholic Charities and were connected with the Pregnancy and Parenting Support team. Our staff helped Meta find a safe home and prepare for her baby to arrive. With help from Catholic Charities and her grandparents, Meta gave birth to a heatlhy baby boy. She is excited to continue working with the Pregnancy and Parenting Support team who will help guide her on her journey as a new mom.
TyRiane just had her daughter Skye and was struggling with balancing her health and helping her 7-year-old son, Zyon, adapt to his new role as an older brother, when COVID-19 hit. Being high risk for COVID and having a new baby created extra challenges to finding work and caring for her family. TyRiane found herself without housing or furniture and was struggling to make ends meet. When the family was referred to Catholic Charities, her Pregnancy Support Case Manager recognized TyRiane’s strengths in keeping herself healthy, providing for her children, and creating a support system around herself reminding her and her children that they are loved, and they can get through these difficult times.
Working with TyRiane to establish and meet goals for her family, her case manager helps TyRiane stay motivated by reminding her of the strength she has with all she has already overcome. Her case manager also identifies and coordinates community resources and any temporary assistance she might need like help finding housing, furniture, winter jackets for Skye and Zyon, and helping her maintain a healthy lifestyle. “Every time I see the family, I see they are so resilient, and I am reminded I can be that way too and I can help TyRiane recognize these strengths in herself.”
Kendra enrolled in the Pregnancy Support program in 2018 and was experiencing significant emotional health challenges. She was 7 months pregnant, living with her parents and in an unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend. When Kendra began working with our Pregnancy Support Coordinator, they met regularly and checked in on how Kendra could focus on her tangible goals she set. “I feel so supported by my Pregnancy Support Worker. She helped me show up weekly with a new and improved mindset,” Kendra said.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl and felt confident in her ability to breastfeed and understanding the importance of safe sleeping. Kendra now has a new job that she loves, and continues to check in with our Pregnancy Support Coordinator due to the great relationship they fostered.
“When asked what Catholic Charities means to me, the first thing that comes to mind is the immense amount of support, kindness, and encouragement my family received.” Heidi came to Catholic Charities with an unplanned pregnancy and struggling to get custody of her son. She knew that her life was in chaos and she needed help. Heidi was working on her sobriety and wanted to do better for her children.
Jessica, Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy Support Coordinator, provided emotional support and helped Heidi find vital prenatal and postpartum care. This led to the healthy birth of her baby girl who is growing and thriving. Jessica and Heidi continue to work on parenting skills for both of her children. “The parenting skills Catholic Charities provides me with will continue to impact my children, improving the health of my family and strengthening our family bonds. We have forever been changed for the better.”
Six months into a high-risk pregnancy, with two young children at home, Naomi came to Catholic Charities in need of support. Pregnancy Support Coordinator, Maggie, worked with Naomi to help her reduce stress and achieve a healthy birth. Naomi’s baby was born premature, and at 5 weeks old, her baby developed an intestinal infection requiring surgery. Naomi was struggling financially, and Maggie helped her apply for assistance to alleviate the cost of medical bills. Also, finding deeper mental health needs, Maggie connected Naomi with Catholic Charities’ in-home behavioral health therapist.
Today, Naomi and her children are in a better place. “I am so thankful for Maggie’s support,” Naomi said. “I couldn’t have found a better place than Catholic Charities!”