“It takes a village to raise a child” as the saying goes. While we can try to be super moms or dads, we all need support at one point or another as our children grow. Whether we need physical supports such as financial assistance, food, and housing or emotional supports such as community groups or counseling, it is first important to recognize that it is okay to have needs. You have not failed, you are human. These community resources are intended to address some of the needs you may have as a parent.
If you feel like harming yourself or others,
call Behavior Health Response (BHR) at (314) 469-3638 for 24-hour support.
If you are actively suicidal, please call 911.
There are many community resources available for parenting. Listed here are a few that I feel are wide-reaching for different needs.
Nurses for Newborns: N4N assists families who have infants with medical needs as well as those who do not have the income to collect the basic necessities for a new baby. They conduct visits in the home and can assist in providing medical care, baby items, clothing, and bedding. You can contact N4N at (314) 544-3433.
Crisis Nursery: Don’t skip this one yet! Many people associate Crisis Nursery with their nurseries which provide short-term care for children birth through age 12 in the event of a crisis. However, many do not know about their Family Empowerment Program. This program serves families with children ages birth to 12 years. This in-home program provides individualized strength-based counseling and parenting support, as well as baby items and basic household supplies and food depending on need. There are no income restrictions. Learn more at www.crisisnurserykids.org.
Parents as Teachers: This program provides in-home support for parents and screenings for children. This program can be started prenatally until the child begins kindergarten. The goals include increasing parental knowledge of child development, improving parental practices, providing early detection of health issues or developmental delays, and increase children’s school readiness and success. Contact your local school district for more information or to enroll in services.
Parenting groups: Sometimes we just need some support from those in similar life stages. Try reaching out to your church to learn about parenting groups or do a Facebook or Google search to find Mommy/Daddy and Me groups, either virtually or in person. Some other suggestions for parent groups can be found here: https://adoption-beyond.org/parent-support-group-series-st-louis-mo/.
For parents through adoption:
Adoption is a difficult, but very rewarding journey with its own set of difficulties on top of the normal struggles of parenting. Therefore, additional supports may be helpful. Unfortunately, few adoption-specific resources are available for parents. Please contact your adoption worker if you need additional resources.
Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition: This resource serves youth and families impacted by the public foster care system. They provide crisis support, training, advocacy, and therapy. Learn more at www.foster-adopt.org.
FAST (Foster Adoption Support Team): This resource can provide support for families who adopted children who were in the foster care system of St. Charles. For more information, visit their website at https://www.fosteradoptscc.org/HOME.aspx.
If you adopted in Illinois, you may be eligible for adoption preservation services. Contact DCFS at 1 (800) 572-2390 for local supports.
For birth parents:
Making an adoption plan is a difficult decision and alters your life forever. I want you to know that we recognize you! Christian Family Services Inc. provides support services for life to birth parents who place through CFS. Contact your worker or call the office at (314) 968-2216. Other resources can be found below.
Birthmombuds.com is an online community of birthparents. You may be matched with another birthparent who had a similar experience to your own. They also hold an annual retreat just for you!
Brave Love offers supportive stories and resources for birthparents. They also track meetings, retreats, and other events for birthparents. Learn more at https://www.bravelove.org/just_for_birth_moms.
Support groups can help connect you to other individuals and families who have similar stories and can provide an understanding ear. Try a quick Google or Facebook search to locate online or in-person groups near you.
How to locate resources:
Have other needs? Need a resource that is not listed? No worries! Finding a resource may be simpler than you think. If you are working with an agency or worker already, reach out to them to learn about additional resources. Otherwise, start by calling 211 to speak to someone who can assist with finding resources. Another resource directory is www.auntbertha.com. Or just try a Google search with a brief description of what you need and your location. While there are many resources out there, there may not be an exact match for your needs. Keep moving forward and don’t lose hope! Or just try a Google search with a brief description of what you need and your location. While there are many resources out there, there may not be an exact match for your needs. Keep moving forward and don’t lose hope!
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Maternity Social Worker LMSW