Meeting Young Parents Where They Are – Family Outreach of Horry County
Family Outreach of Horry County serves one of the most unique communities in South Carolina. Considering the sheer size and population of Horry County, Family Outreach juggles serving families who live in large metropolitan and rural areas all at the same time.
“Horry County really is a microcosm of the entire nation,” Susan Canterbury, Executive Director, said. “It’s difficult to juggle the various communities and adapt for our diverse population of clients.”
The organization’s original mission when it was formed in 1983 was to provide new families with parenting information, but as the late 80s arrived and teenage pregnancy was becoming more prevalent, Family Outreach began to focus on teen pregnancy prevention programs, especially providing support and education for young mothers and their families.
The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Family Outreach have worked together for years and still do today. As a partner of Children’s Trust of SC’s Community Support for Young Parents initiative, funded through the Office of Adolescent Health’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF), Family Outreach collaborates with other Horry County organizations like A Fathers Placeto provide resources and work directly with expectant and parenting teens in their area.
“We’ve worked with other local organizations well before the PAF grant—we created a mini-coalition back in 2010 with the Campaign [SC Campaign] to meet on a regular basis to talk about teen pregnancy prevention,” Canterbury said. “Now we stay in touch, work together and have a system in place to refer back and forth with one another, making sure young parents get the assistance they need.”
Family Outreach offers various programs dedicated to meeting young parents where they are. Making sure that young families have the education and resources they need to thrive is imperative to the health of their community. Their services include:
- Diaper Bank: Diapers, baby formula & food, gently used infant and toddler clothing.
- Teen Pregnancy Preventive Education: Using evidence based curricula such as Making a Difference, Be Proud! Be Responsible! and Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protective! in community settings, Family Outreach reaches local teens. Family Outreach also assisted in getting Horry County School District to teach Making a Difference by modeling how to teach in in middle schools for several years before handing it off for schools to keep going. They also provide birth control and reproductive health education, information and referrals to their parenting clients during home visits.
- Parents On Point Program: A community based program, funded by PAF, that works to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting teens and young adults in Horry County. With diverse community partners, we are able to provide a variety of services to both mothers and fathers.
Services/Referrals may include:
- Parenting and co-parenting classes
- Parenting support groups
- Health and family planning services
- Prenatal, child birth and infant care education prevention
- Healthy relationships
- SC Thrive Benefit Bank Site-aid in applying for government assistance such as Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps, Family Independence, and State & Federal Taxes etc.
Want to know more about how you can help Family Outreach of Horry County? Visit https://family-outreach.org/.