Teens who have children are often thrust into a new world which they are unprepared for. Adult first-time parents are often overwhelmed by the new responsibility of taking care for a human being, and they are more mature, both emotionally and financially, than teens. As overwhelming as it is for teen parents, there are resources available to you. Remember, while you are taking on a whole new level of responsibility, you do not have to undertake this ordeal alone. There are several organizations that will provide necessary products and guidance at low cost, or even for free.
Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. Call to make an appointment at (865) 215-5016 or visit the website for more information Knox County WIC.
Help us Grow Succesfully (HUGS)
The Help Us Grow Successfully program is a targeted case management program that provides home-based intervention services to pregnant/postpartum women, children birth through the age of five (5) years and their primary caregivers. Home visitors screen for and identify potential problems, provide education, and connect families with resources in their communities. The HUGS program seeks to prevent or reduce risks as well as promote health and wellness. Call (865) 215-5000 for more information or visit the HUGS website.
Parents as Teachers
Knox County Schools offers Parents as Teachers, a free home-based parent education and family support program that provides information, activities and encouragement to families until their child enters Kindergarten. Call (865) 594-1159 for more information or visit the Parents as Teachers website.
Healthy Families East Tennessee
A service of the Helen Ross McNabb Center, Inc., HFET serves first-time parents in Knox, Blount, Sevier, Loudon and Jefferson Counties. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call a Family Assessment worker at (865) 637-9711 ext 1275 or visit the Healthy Families of East Tennessee website.
TennCare Kids is a full program of check-ups and health care services for children who have TennCare. These services make sure babies, children, teens and young adults receive the health care they need. Good health begins at birth, so it’s important to check in, check up and check back. For more information visit TennCare Kids or call (865) 215-5173. The Tennessee Department of Human Services and United States Federal Government also have a wealth of good resources for teen parents.
Of course, if you have any questions, concerns or would like more information, you can call KAPPI at (865) 215-5170.