Montique Evans has been employed as a Family Care Coordinator with Rosalie Manor’s Parenting Partnership Program for just over two years. Prior to her work here she was with Justice 2000 as an AODA Caseworker and Intake Supervisor, and also worked for Milwaukee Drug Treatment Court. She earned her BA in Criminal Justice from Marquette University in 2004.
“People make mistakes, that’s where we come in and support them. They may have a family, but no support. Support goes a long way. Just knowing there’s someone they can talk to. It means everything to these families.”
PPP sends trained social services workers called Family Care Coordinators into the homes of young parents to assess the safety of their residences; to assist in coordinating needed child-care services; to provide (in coordination with a registered nurse) healthy baby and parenting information; and to encourage teens to return to school.
Montique works with pregnant women and their families who are interested in receiving more support and education regarding their pregnancy and post-partum care, and preventing a repeat pregnancy. There is a special focus on parenting skills. Most teen moms are between the ages of 16-23. Says Montique,“The individual needs to understand child development…understand who children are, what they are. I emphasize bonding with the child.”
During an average visit, Montique monitors how things are going for the mom and child. A visit is required at least once per month. Basic care skills: changing diapers, giving a child a bath, and soothing a crying baby are taught. They also review a packet on child development based upon the child’s age, highlight physical development, nutrition, sleeping habits (given the number of recent co-sleeping deaths in Milwaukee), and if the baby has been healthy. Says Montique, “I love the kids! There’s nothing greater than walking into a house and seeing two big beautiful eyes looking at me. I love watching them grow!”
Montique currently has approximately 25 cases. Besides the focus on pregnancy and caring for the child, she also talks to them about birth control options, abstinence, and STD’s, and encourages them to see a doctor regarding pregnancy prevention. Then she helps them navigate the system regarding finishing school and post-secondary opportunities, rental information, and employment for the mom and dad.
One of Montique’s success stories is Precious. She has been working with her since December, 2011.
Says Montique,“She had a four month old baby , wasn’t attending school regularly, and was living with her mom. After she earned her GED, she applied to MATC, and is planning to pursue nursing and work a part-time job. Her daughter, April, is now 20 months old and has good language skills.” Precious has been successful in learning the value and importance of good health and hasn’t had a repeat pregnancy.
Participation in the PPP program is free and voluntary. Referrals are received from Aurora Healthcare, WIC Clinics, St. Joseph’s Wheaton Franciscan, Lifetime Clinic and Women’s Outpatient Center.
Forty percent of the referrals are through word-of-mouth. “Word-of-mouth referrals let you know you’re having some type of direct impact,” says Montique. Clients are lower-income and come from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.
“These moms and families don’t have to let you be a part of their lives, but they decided to let you in on their journey,” says Montique. A child can be in the program until they reach six years of age.
There isn’t a limit on the mom’s age. However, the average age range is 16-23. Montique said the average case lasts for six months to one year. Says Montique, “What we do is an integral part of building stronger families and it’s awesome!”