Building Resilience in Young Moms

“Our moms want their children to thrive. They want to make decisions in the best interest of their children. They really want to be good parents”

Michelle Brock-Coleman,
Teen Support Specialist, TAPP Program

Families First’s Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Program (TAPP) connects young mothers with the resources to meet the unique emotional, psychological, and physical needs of mothers ages 13 to 19, who live in low-income families and lack resources and support. Through home visits, prenatal support, mentorships, and academic support we assist these young women with exceeding their goals.

“Through a holistic and collaborative approach, we give these girls the community connections, skills, tools and resources to build their resilience. They are going to go through trials and tribulations, but we want them to have the skills and connections needed to bounce back for both them and their children,” added Michelle.

A key component of helping these young mothers thrive is access to Families First’s behavioral health services. Throughout the counseling process, TAPP takes a comprehensive approach which extends beyond the young mother to include her family and the father of the child. Engaging clients’ parents encourages them to be involved in experiences with their children. We know that teen dads also play a vital role in the development of their children. This emphasis on support is a critical part of the counseling process and increases young mothers’ likelihood of success.

“Families First provides great resources for me as a new mom. I love how they take time and show support for each of us. They also have a doula who meets with us regularly. Since my son has medical issues this has been a huge help,” shared Devora, a TAPP client.

By providing access to a doula, the TAPP team helps the girls understand more about pregnancy, labor and delivery so they can make informed decisions about labor and delivery, prenatal care, nutrition, breast-feeding and parenting. The doula serves as a friend, mentor, resource and a life coach and provides emotional support and guidance.

“The TAPP program helped me meet new people and help others as well. I am thankful I can pass down what I have learned and the support I have been given to other girls,”


During COVID, TAPP found ways to expand resources to further assist the young moms. Many of the moms missed the community connection, so the TAPP team got creative and began dropping off items to the moms and having socially distanced doorstep and driveway visits to help them feel connected to the outside world during the pandemic.

“From being a friend who listens and understands, to helping with groceries and clothes for their children, they become a community. For many of our young moms this is the first time they have had a supportive community, said Cathy Anderson, Teen Support Specialist with the Families First TAPP Program. “COVID hit our moms and their families hard. Many of them experienced their parents losing jobs, food insecurity and struggling to make ends meet. We worked with each of our moms to help support her when she needed our help and to help the community of moms support each other.”

Building resilience in young moms like Devora has a ripple effect throughout our community. The alumni moms help support the new moms by sharing experiences and resources. Your support allows us to support our moms how and when they need us. COVID showed that our ability to be flexible and pivot to meet the needs of our clients is a vital part of our success.

“As we look forward to, we want to enhance our preventive services which provide tools and resources the our new moms can add to their toolboxes as they navigate the opportunities and challenges of motherhood,” added Michelle.