Twin Cedars Youth Services, Inc.
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Teen Mothers
Second Chance Homes

Lewis L. Banks

Presently, Twin Cedars Youth Services, Inc. is operating two Second Chance Homes. The Georgia Farm Bureau Second Chance Home is located in Troup County at the TCYFS Magnolia’s campus. In Muscogee County, the newly renovated Weracoba Second Chance is located on 20th street in the Lakebottom Park area . Our Second Chance Home program targets teen mothers ages 13-19 who are living in an environment that is deemed susceptible to abuse, neglect and violence. The program offers residents a safe, structured environment where they may, through achievement of individual goals, reduce current and future risk factors which may result in cyclical dependence and reduced quality of life for the teen parents and their children. At the same time we ensure a foundation of necessary education, life skills and self-worth. We believe that with a firm foundation and the proper tools teen parents may become self-sufficient contributing members of society and may serve as an asset to their community. The program model looks at four broad goals; increasing the level of education to a minimum of high school diploma or G.E.D., elimination of unplanned pregnancies, maximizing potential for adequate employment, and establishing primary life skills necessary to continue self-sufficiency and quality of life. While in our care, teen mothers will also be taught the importance of good nutrition, as well as, receive guidance regarding immunizations for their newborn babies. Upon entering the program, teen moms often require therapy to treat an array of problems such as neglect or abuse. Our Second Chance Program will provide outpatient therapy services to help teens cope with past problems so that they can begin to offer their children with a nurturing love they may have never experienced.

Teen Mothers Second Chance Homes The philosophy behind the establishment of the Twin Cedars’ Second Chance Homes is the belief that by providing a safe, stable, nurturing environment for teen mothers and their children, the negative effects of adolescent parenting can be ameliorated and the potential for the highest quality of life for both mother and child can be realized. Program staff is encouraged to create an "environment of responsibility rather than rules and regulations." Our mission, "to provide programs and services empowering children, youth and families to achieve optimum potential" continues through this service, a Second Chance Home for teen moms.

Since establishing Second Chance programs in 2001, statistics gathered by G-CAPP show that less than 1% of mothers participating in the program have another unplanned pregnancy, 100% of babies in the program are receiving immunizations, there is in increase in child support from birth fathers, and there is a decreased dependency on TANF, WIC, and food stamps. We are extremely pleased that 100% of our residents are working to or have received a high school diploma or G.E.D. While this accomplishment may seem minor to the average parent, we see this as major stepping stone for future achievement. It is even more remarkable given the fact that the Department of Human Resources estimates that 86% of children in foster care emerge from that system without a high school education. Only 74% of all 18-24 year olds in Muscogee County have a high school diploma. Additionally, every mother in our care works or volunteers for local ministries such as Habitat for Humanity. A benchmark of our programming is to teach the mothers that they must give back to their community.

Goals of Second Chance Homes

  • Safe and stable supervised living
  • Reduce repeat pregnancy
  • High school completion
  • Career development
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Healthy children

Second Chance HomesResults of our Network

  • Less than 1% repeat pregnancy
  • 100% school attendance
  • 100% immunizations
  • Increased reunification with children
  • Increased child support from birth fathers
  • Child development learning centers in every home
  • Increased employment
  • Decreased dependency on TANF, WIC and food stamps
  • Increased enrollment in technical/post secondary educational facilities
  • Waiting list of over 180 teen mothers every month

Facts About Teenage Mothers

  • 53% of the costs of Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF), food stamps and Medicaid are attributable to households begun by teens
  • Teen mothers are most likely to become long-term TANF recipients
  • Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school; only one-third receive high school diplomas by age 30
  • The children of teen mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse
  • The sons of teen mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison; daughters are 22% more likely to become teen mothers
  • Half of all girls who become pregnant as teenagers become pregnant again within 2 years
Twin Cedars currently collaborates with the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Even Start, Innovative Work Solutions, Clark Holder Clinic Columbus Technical College, United Way, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, WIC, The Teenage Pregnancy Center, The Pastoral Institute, Troup County Recreation Department, First Baptist Church on the Square, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) The Spot, Pregnancy Center, Debra Jenkins, LLC Crossroads Counseling, Troup County Library, Troup County Animal Control, Troup County Humane Society, GCAPP, Troup County School Broad, Pride and Joy Daycare, Communities in Schools, West Georgia Technical College WIA Program, West Georgia Psychiatric Center, Alpha Center, the Junior League of Columbus, as well as, many other social, religious, and civic organizations.