Young Parent Support
Journey Program at MCH
Supporting young parents on their path to self-worth and positive parenting
What is Journey Program?
Journey Program at Maine Children’s Home (MCH) provides young parents with a stable and productive community environment that empowers them with the knowledge, tools, and skills they need to be academically, financially, and emotionally successful individuals and parents.
Founded in 1974, the program’s focus is to build upon the strengths of parents, offering classes in prenatal education, parenting instruction, independent living skills, mental health access and supports, and other practical knowledge. Staff managing this program provide individualized guidance for each parent as they learn new skills. Staff also organize opportunities for the parents, their children, and members of their support system to bond as a group and grow together.
Who Can Participate in Journey Program?
Historically, Journey Program (formally Teen Parent Education Program) provided services to only teenagers who were pregnant or parenting. In 2022, MCH expanded Journey Program to serve adults in their early 20s who are pregnant or parenting and could benefit from the program. This expansion gives the program the ability to continue support and involvement with parents beyond their teen years. MCH and Journey Program staff are excited about this expansion and look forward to working with participants on their parenting and adulting “Journey”.
If you're interested in learning more about participating in Journey Program for yourself or someone else, click the following button:
We're Experts in the Young-Parent Journey
The staff of Journey Program have extensive experience working with young parents, as well as teaching skills and information that are important for any parent to be aware of. A registered nurse teaches the prenatal classes at Journey Program, and Program Director Alaina Wolman is a former young parent herself and has been involved in the program for 20 years.
What Journey Program Offers
Nearly all of the following supports and training provided by Journey Program are available in person or virtually.
- EDUCATION: Guidance and support for participants interested in completing high school or college. Journey Program can offer support and encouragement for those already enrolled in an educational program, or it can offer guidance with choosing a program that fits each individual’s needs.
- PRENATAL: Classes and supports utilizing SOR (Starting Out Right) curriculum and post-partum supports and referrals for young parents who are pregnant or recently gave birth.
- PARENTING: Classes and guidance using the Parents as Teachers curriculum and the Adventures in Parenting book are offered to young parents as they navigate the joys and challenges of raising children. The Adventures in Parenting book is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
- CHILDCARE: Bright Beginnings Learning Center, a privately operated childcare center, is available on the MCH campus for participants needing this support. Journey Program will help participants connect with the childcare provider and offer help with applying for assistance through the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) or another available funding source if the participant meets the source's qualifications. Choosing to utilize the onsite childcare will require that the participant's child(ren) attend at least three days per week. For those attending the program only 1 to 2 days per week and who do not wish to enroll in a formal daycare program can bring their child(ren) with them and MCH volunteers will provide support during class time. If a participant needs childcare and does not qualify for funding programs, the Journey Program Director can review options.
- ONE-ON-ONE SUPPORT: Meet with the program director to help with referrals to community resources, navigating resource paperwork, career exploration, and goal setting.
- STEP-UP MEETINGS: An opportunity for participants to meet with their support team (this could be their family, partner, caseworker, friends etc.) and the program director. The purpose of these meetings is to work through challenges that may arise, so they don’t become disruptive to everyday life.
- COUNSELING: On-campus counseling for any participant interested in this service.
- GROUP SUPPORT: An opportunity for participants to meet in a group-setting to work on challenges that other parents may be going through and to participate in formal group programs such as Making Sense of your Worth (MSOYW).
- SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: For program participants who are interested in continuing their education.
- JOURNEY DAYS: A time for all participants, their partners, and children to come together for a Journey Program play date, guest speaker, or special activity.
- ASSISTANCE: Help with accessing diapers, wipes, and other essentials.
What Journey Program May Not Offer
Although the program does not provide meals or transportation, water and snacks are always available as are options for assistance with transportation.
Anyone who is interested in enrolling or obtaining more information about the Journey Program at MCH can fill out this inquiry form, and a visit, enrollment, and initial assessment of whether the program will meet participant needs will be scheduled. There is no cost to attend.
For any other questions, call (207) 873-4253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach Program Director Alaina Wolman.
Are you an alumnus of Journey Program (or Teen Parent Education Program)? Keep in Touch!
Fill out the form on this page HERE.
Support Journey Program
Monetary donations to Journey Program help with the costs of running the program and purchasing specific items such as clothing and diapers for babies and toddlers.
Thank You to Our Supporters:
The Legacy of the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School
The Legacy Name of this program, Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School, honors Sharon Abrams who was the first Teen Parent School Program teacher (1974-1982), becoming Program Director (1982-1990), then Assistant Executive Director (1990-1992), before becoming Executive Director (1992-2015). Sharon was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004 in recognition of her leadership and community engagement at the helm of MCH.