Maternity Group Homes Fact Sheet
The mission of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is to promote safety, stability, and well-being for people who have experienced or been exposed to violence, neglect or trauma. FYSB achieves this through supporting programs that provide shelter, community services and prevention education for youth, adults and families.
The Maternity Group Home (MGH) Program supports homeless pregnant and/or parenting young people between the ages of 16 and 22, as well as their dependant children. Services are provided for up to 21 months, or until a young person turns 18 years old.
Maternity group homes offer an intensive array of services to meet the short- and longer-term needs of pregnant and parenting youth. MGH grantees are required to teach young people parenting skills as well as child development, family budgeting, health and nutrition, and other skills to promote their long-term economic independence and ensure the wellbeing of their children.
In addition, FYSB requires grantees to incorporate elements of Positive Youth Development. The approach suggests that the best way to prevent risky behavior is to help young people achieve their full potential. Youth development strategies focus on giving young people the chance to exercise leadership, build skills, and become involved in their communities.
Thousands of young people run away from their homes, are asked to leave their homes, or become homeless in the United States each year. Many of these young people are pregnant or have already become parents. Pregnant and parenting youth not only need basic necessities like food and shelter, they must also learn to be effective parents.
MGH grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:
- Safe, stable living accommodations
- Basic life-skill building, including consumer education and instruction in budgeting, using credit, housekeeping, menu planning, food preparation, and parenting skills
- Interpersonal skill building, including enhancing young people’s abilities to establish positive relationships with peers and adults, make decisions, and manage stress
- Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, postsecondary training, or vocational education
- Assistance in job preparation and attainment, such as career counseling and job placement
- Education, information, and counseling to prevent, treat, and reduce substance abuse
- Mental health care, including individual and group counseling
- Physical health care, including routine physicals, health assessments, and emergency treatment
- Child-safe transitional and independent living accommodations
- Education in parenting, child discipline, and safety as well as direct supervision of parenting and related domestic skills
- Mental, physical, and reproductive health care, including individual and family counseling of parent and child
- Resources to help youth identify reliable and affordable child care
- Lessons in money management and use of credit
- Services to promote parents' educational advancement
Facilitation of parent involvement in local schools and other child education programs
The Federal Government funded the first emergency shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974 (Public Law 93-415). Later, determining that some young people needed longer-term, supportive assistance, Congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth (TLP) as part of the 1988 Amendments to the JJDPA.
Today, FYSB funds the Maternity Group Homes (MGH) Program as part of the Transitional Living Program, under the provisions of the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-378).
Grant Award Process
FYSB solicits applications for the MGH Program through funding announcements on the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive 5-year grants.