B.A.B.E.S., Inc. Child Abuse Prevention Program provides family strengthening services to young parents at NO COST in Appleton and the surrounding Fox Valley. This is accomplished by providing economic, educational, and emotional wellness support.
“We believe that if we provide parenting skills, educational opportunities, and emotional support we can help provide structure for their home and family that will help them reduce stressors that could lead to child abuse.” Says Pastor Mahnie Williams, Director of B.A.B.E.S.
B.A.B.E.S. offers free respite care for young parents once a week so that they can have “positive time away” to accomplish errands, attend medical appointments and enjoy some alone time. During their time at B.A.B.E.S., children are cared for in a structured educational environment that includes healthy meals and snacks. In addition to respite care, B.A.B.E.S. offers access to their diaper bank and care packages that consist of hygiene items, cleaning products, and paper products.
Emotional wellness support is also a large tenant of B.A.B.E.S. services. Often young parents need encouragement, guidance, and support while learning how to be the best parents they can be. Skill-Building Sessions are held to create a Family Development Plan which consists of focusing on their strengths, weaknesses, and goals and will help them on their journey as parents. Support groups are also offered for parents to express themselves and provide camaraderie with their peers.
“B.A.B.E.S. has given me great parenting tools and community resources. The staff at B.A.B.E.S. have built a healthy relationship with my son. He is always looking forward to going there weekly when I take him for respite care. They have helped give me the free time I need to run errands & get alone time, which is rare as a single mom.” states Ashley H. a B.A.B.E.S. participant.
To help provide a more stable household for their program participants B.A.B.E.S. offers a variety of educational supports as well. Their Women’s Mind project is designed to assist young parents returning to school or continuing their education. In addition, to support parents, they also offer tutoring support for children.
“The timing of this grant could not be better. With these funds, we will be able to continue to provide our services at no cost. We are a small group of people doing mighty things.” Pastor Mahnie concludes.