Parent Linking Program
Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey provides more than 300 teen parents in 11 schools with the support needed in order for them to graduate high school and strengthen their parenting skills.
What is the Parent Linking Program?
There is a growing local and national concern about the pervasive and enduring social, economic and educational consequences of teenage pregnancy. Teen parents are at greater risk of socioeconomic disadvantage throughout their lives than those who delay childbearing until their twenties. PCA-NJ provides free school-based services for expectant and parenting teens statewide which includes child care, parenting groups, individual counseling, crisis intervention, and intensive case management. These components prevent present and future child abuse and neglect by enhancing the teenage parent’s self-esteem and knowledge of parenting and child development while helping the teen parent complete high school and delay repeat pregnancies. Parent Linking Programs are funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
Who is Eligible to Participate?
Any expectant or parenting mothers and fathers who attend a sponsoring high school are eligible to participate in the program. In exchange for free child care, participants are required to attend weekly groups in addition to the normal academic curriculum required for graduation. Child care centers are housed in or near the sponsoring high schools. The centers provide quality child care services during school hours to parents in the high school who are enrolled in the Parent Linking Program; a fully developed curricula to address the developmental needs of the infant/toddler; opportunity to visit and interact with their children during lunch hour or free period; and regular parent conferences with the child care center staff to keep parents up to date on their child’s progress. Group services for the adolescent parent focus on parenting skills, child development, co-parenting, healthy relationships, and life skills. 95% of the teen parents enrolled in Parent Linking Program have graduated high school, 90% planned to attend college and 98% have not had a second pregnancy.
Participating High Schools
- Passaic High School – Passaic
- East Side High School – Paterson
- Union City High School – Union City
- Plainfield High School – Plainfield
- New Brunswick High School – New Brunswick
- Trenton Central High School – Trenton
- Camden High School – Camden
- Woodrow Wilson High School – Camden
- Vineland High School – Vineland