Hilltop Resources receives grant to help children, pregnant mothers
She was 16 years old and pregnant with little confidence in her ability to raise a child.
Within five years of starting the Family First program with Hilltop Community Resources, the teen finished high school and married her baby’s father. The couple eventually bought a home and both started jobs to support their family.
“They really had (the) components you would hope to have in your (own) family,” said Jackie Sievers, director of Hilltop Child and Family Services, who helped the unnamed teen.
“(The young woman) attributed a lot of her success to Family First,” Sievers said. “Now, of course, she put all the work in herself, but she appreciated the support, the education, the guidance (and) the people to walk beside her.”
The teen mother’s tale is just one success story from a quartet of family-centered programs that was recently awarded a three-year grant that allows Hilltop to continue providing family education and support at current levels, Sievers said.
The $139,000 annual grant, awarded by Colorado Health Foundation, will be distributed as follows:
■ $50,000 to B4 Babies and Beyond, a program that assists about 1,000 children and 850 pregnant women in Mesa County with Medicaid enrollment and quality health care information.
■ $23,000 to Family First, a program that sends educators into the homes of about 175 families to teach them about the developmental, social-emotional well-being and physical needs of their children, and demonstrates activities they can use to stimulate cognitive and physical development. Families can stay in the program until children reach age 5.
■ $36,000 to Uncompahgre Prenatal Program, which educates about 160 pregnant women in Montrose County about how to have a health pregnancy.
■ $23,000 to Tandem Families, a program that provides support to about 155 families in Delta and Montrose counties on behavioral and emotional issues, with the goal to keep their families and enrich children’s lives.
Some funds will be used as the match amount required to obtain federal and other matching grants, Sievers said.