FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 03, 2020
Missouri Child Support awarded two $1 million grants focused on teens
JEFFERSON CITY, MO —
The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children & Families awarded two $1 million grants to the Department of Social Services, Family Support Division Child Support Enforcement to develop interventions to educate teens on parental financial, legal, and emotional responsibilities to help youth be the parent they hope to become. Activities will begin in the 2021-2022 academic year and will help youth build knowledge and skills, as well as access to resources to help them achieve life goals, economic mobility, and become responsible parents.
“It is impressive that Missouri received two of the nine grants and nearly one-fourth of $8.7 million of the total award,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “I think it demonstrates the Department of Health and Human Services’ high level of confidence and respect for Missouri’s Child Support Outreach Team’s ability to make a substantial positive impact on Missouri families.”
Missouri’s grants will fund the development and implementation of curriculum for two programs focused on the financial, emotional, and legal responsibilities of parenthood. The “Parenthood Can Wait” program will increase youth understanding of the costs and legal consequences of parenthood. Participants will include 1,250 youth who are parents, as well as non-parents across the state at three selected alternative high schools and youth in the care of the Division of Youth Services. The “Future Leaders” program is a pre-parenthood curriculum designed for grade 7 and 8 youth. Approximately 2,500 students from six school districts around Missouri will participate in the 13-week program. The following summer, a smaller group of participants will attend a Leadership Institute on a Missouri college campus to develop a deeper understanding and become mentors to 7th grade peers on pre-parenthood topics for the subsequent school year. The impact of the Future Leaders program will be measured over seven years.
“The children of Missouri are the future of our state and these grant programs helps put this next generation on the path to reach their highest potential to have healthy relationships, make positive life choices, and be responsible adults,” said John Ginwright, Deputy Director, Family Support Division, Child Support Enforcement.
The Department of Social Services is committed to the “Show Me Strong" Recovery Plan and serving the needs of Missouri citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. SkillUp and Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) are free programs available to all Food Stamp/SNAP and TA recipients that help low-income Missourians with career planning, overcoming challenges to work, as well as getting and keeping a job. Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.