MOAPPP Adolescent Parent eNews

MOAPPP Adolescent Parent eNews

December 2009

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
–(Source unknown)


Teen Parent Connections Starting Up in Ramsey County and Washington County

Teen Parent Connections are networking groups where people who work with teen parents get together to meet each other and discuss issues and resources. We have individuals in both Ramsey and Washington Counties who are interested in forming TPC groups. Please email [email protected] and let me know if you are in one of those counties and interested in joining.

Minnesota Children’s Platform Coalition Working Meeting

The Minnesota Children’s Platform Coalition would like to invite you to participate in a working session on children’s and youth policy in Minnesota. The event will include updates on children’s and youth issues for the 2010 legislative session and a report on federal priorities for children’s and youth services. We plan to promote a commitment to comprehensive youth services for all children and youth in Minnesota, with a focus on the whole child. Leaders in all fields of youth services in Minnesota will be in attendance. If you or anyone from your office would be interested in participating, we would be delighted to include you.

January 20, 2010
1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota Council of Churches
122 West Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

The Minnesota Children’s Platform Coalition works to establish a comprehensive platform for children and youth in the state in order to best meet the needs of the whole child and to insure the development of healthy, well-educated and economically secure citizens. We welcome any and all continuing and new individual and/or organizational members who share this vision to be part of this important work. Contact Sue Fust, President of the MNCPC at [email protected].

Minnesota Young Fathers Action Collaborative (MYFAC)

A new statewide group is working toward policy and program shifts to better meet the needs of young fathers in the state. MOAPPP, along with the Minnesota Fathers & Families Network (MFFN) is taking a leadership role in organizing the group. Three meetings have been held so far in 2009. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, January 14 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. Both continuing and new members are welcome to attend. We will be planning a pre-conference day program for the 2010 MOAPPP conference, as well as discussing legislative issues, resource directories and development of written materials. The committee consists of those who have an interest in young fathers as well as those working with fathers and/or with adolescent mothers. For more information, please email [email protected].

Do you Know a Teen Parent Who Might Consider being Part of a Parent Leadership Team?

Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota is looking for parents who have overcome barriers and can bring their life experiences as well as knowledge from their communities to partner with the Dept. of Human Services in rethinking and reforming practices within the Dept. of Human Services so all families continue to be strengthened and parent voices are at the table helping to make decisions. They are looking for a young parent who has been a part of ‘the system’ (MFIP, foster care, child abuse, etc.) to serve on this Parent Leadership Team. Eventually, team members will sit on different committees to help with the planning, the implementation and the evaluation of policies and systems. If you know of someone who would be an asset to this team, please email [email protected].

In the News


The movie Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, is now playing in select theaters, and is scheduled to expand to more theaters next week. The movie follows a sixteen-year-old African-American girl in Harlem in the 1980s. She is emotionally and physically abused by her mother, and is pregnant with her second baby by her father. She cannot read or write, and when her school threatens to expel her, she is given the option to transfer to an alternative school. There, she begins her journey away from the abuse and hopelessness to a world of love and ambition.

Precious is a great way to incorporate teachable moments for youth into your organization. Crittenton Services of Greater Washington in Washington, D.C. is using Precious to discuss the reality of the issues brought forward with local, regional and national leaders. The members of Our Voices, the Youth Advisory Board of D.C. Crittenton conducted the Precious Voices survey to see firsthand what issues, like the ones that consumed Precious, also affect the young women in the D.C. area. The survey was conducted with 99 current clients between 8th and 12th grades. The intention was to show the extent to which the young women surveyed have to deal with the issues highlighted in Precious’ story and to show what type of impact these issues are having on young women’ lives. The survey shows that 59% have felt voiceless at one time in their lives; 54% have been subjected to physical force from someone in their home; 37% have witnessed their parents/guardians hitting each other; 31% have been touched in an unwelcome way by someone close to them; and 18% have been in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend who used physical force with them.

Click here for Action Research and Advocacy for Precious from Crittenton Services of Greater Washington’s Youth Advisory Board. You can also take D.C. Crittenton’s survey, which will be available while the movie is playing in theaters. You can see the women of D.C. Crittenton talking about Precious on the D.C. local news here.


Hot Off the Presses: Early Childhood Mental Health Issue of Healthy Generations

The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health at the University of Minnesota is very pleased to announce the release of the winter 2010 issue of Healthy Generations on Early Childhood Mental Health. Get a copy here.

Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Other Forms of Childhood Adversity on Adulthood Parenting

This study investigated the impact of child sexual abuse on five dimensions of adulthood parenting among a sample of predominantly African-American mothers receiving public assistance. Results indicate that although childhood sexual abuse survivors reported significantly lower rates of parental warmth, higher rates of psychological aggression, and more frequent use of corporal punishment, after consideration of other factors, childhood sexual abuse did not independently impact parenting. Prevalence estimates for sexual abuse suggest that 30-40 percent of females have been sexually abused in childhood. Numerous studies indicate that survivors of CSA experience greater lifelong trauma-related symptoms.

Corporal Punishment by Mothers Can Inhibit Development of Children’s Cognitive Ability

This longitudinal study of 1510 children tested the hypothesis that a parent’s use of corporal punishment with a child, such as slapping his/her hand or “spanking,” is linked with the child’s restricted development of cognitive ability. Children 2-9 years old who experienced no corporal punishment in either of the two sample weeks gained more on a cognitive-ability test compared to children whose mothers used corporal punishment. These findings are consistent with the two previous studies of the relationship of corporal punishment to cognitive ability.

Childhood Maltreatment and Attachment

This study, using a nonclinical sample of 272 university students, found that, consistent with both theory and research, verbal and physical childhood mistreatment generally had an adverse impact on attachment dynamics, but with differences related to gender. In females, but not in males, there was a significant positive relationship between avoidant attachment to the mother and physical mistreatment. Also, the relationship between verbal mistreatment and avoidant attachment to the mother was much stronger for the females than for the males. Researchers had predicted that if one parent had perpetrated either verbal or physical abuse, then attachment to the non-abusing parent would moderate the effects of the abuse. There was some support for this hypothesis, but only for the mother-daughter attachment. When the father verbally mistreated a daughter, the attachment to the mother moderated psychological symptoms of depression and sexual problems. There was no evidence that attachment to the mother was an effective moderator for the males if they were mistreated verbally or physically by their fathers. There was no evidence of the father-son or father-daughter attachment as a moderator of any of the mental health effects of mistreatment by the mother.


Getting Maternity Services Right for Pregnant Teenagers and Young Fathers

A new publication from the UK provides guidance for clinic staff in providing care for teen moms and dads. This booklet is loaded with practical and helpful suggestions for making clinics more responsive to, and effective with, adolescent mothers and fathers.

Guía Para Padres de Adolescentes

Guía Para Padres de Adolescentes is a cultural adaptation and translation of Teen Talk for Spanish speaking families. Building on strategies for helping parents overcome obstacles of parent-teen communication, the Teen Talk fact sheets (English and Spanish) focus on teaching parents strategies that facilitate open communication and provide parents with the knowledge and confidence to talk with their teens about challenging topics. There is no cost for Guía Para Padres de Adolescentes. This project is a collaboration between University of Minnesota Extension and North Carolina Extension. For more information, contact Jodi Dworkin, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, at [email protected], 612-624-3732 or Colleen Gengler, Extension Family Relations Educator, at [email protected], 888- 241-4635 or 507-372-3907.

New Website Listing Diverse Family Holidays and Celebrations

Hannukkah, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa, Christmas. The list of holidays families gather to celebrate in December is as diverse as the families and their cultures. University of Minnesota Extension has developed a website dedicated to families and holiday celebrations.

The site features informative, research-based articles and podcasts by Extension educators, as well as links to other university extension resources. Some of the topics include “Holiday Traditions Evolve as Families Grow,” “Stay in Control of Holiday Spending” and “With Kids and Divorce, There’s More Than a ‘Day’ in Holiday.” Others feature tips about healthy eating and food safety.

Safe Toys

If you want to be sure that you’re buying safe toys for the holidays, you can check the lists at Healthy Stuff and the Consumer Protection Safety Commission.

Zero to Three Offering Discounts on Parenting Booklets

We’re offering a limited-time discount on our series of parenting booklets on healthy eating, play, child development, movement, music and school readiness.

Receive 30% off if you order before December 31!

Click Any Booklet Link to Order NOW!

Healthy Start What's Best Getting in Tune On the Move Power of Play Early Arrival
English Version
Spanish Version
English Version
Spanish Version
English Version
Spanish Version
English Version
Spanish Version
English Version English Version
Spanish Version

Discounts up to $9.00 available through this limited time offer.

*What’s Best for My Baby and Me? is sold in a packet of 12 booklets. All other booklets are sold in packets of 20. Price excludes shipping and handling.

Nutrition and the Pregnant Adolescent: A Practical Reference Guide

A resource for health professionals and educators on nutrition and adolescent pregnancy. The book focuses on clinical application of current knowledge on adolescent pregnancy. Topics are presented in a format that outlines and highlights subjects for easy reference. Available from: Leadership, Education, and Training, Program in Maternal and Child Nutrition, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota 1300 South 2nd St., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, Phone: 612-626-7143

Teen Dating Violence Resources

Much focus is currently being placed on helping teens understand what healthy romantic relationships look like. A webcast on this issue is available here. In addition, has a hotline for teens experiencing abuse from romantic partners.


Young Families Policy Platform

Mother and BabyHealthy Teen Network has collected testimonials from young parents describing the challenges their families face (click here to see the videos), and has tied those challenges to public policy recommendations offered in A Policy Platform to Promote Health and Success among Young Families. The Young Families Policy Platform, released by Healthy Teen Network in March 2009, offers a set of federal policy recommendations aimed at establishing or reforming programs and systems that influence whether or not young families may achieve health and success after a teen birth.

While the Young Families Policy Platform is broad in scope, Healthy Teen Network focused the youths’ testimonials on three topical areas: access to young family support programs and services, access to education and income security. Healthy Teen Network chose these areas for attention because legislative opportunities are ripe to address them in Congress next year.

Healthy Teen Network urges its members and supporters to view these brief testimonials in order to educate themselves about the contents of the Young Families Policy Platform…and how it responds to real needs of parenting youth today. Healthy Teen Network also encourages its members and supporters to use the testimonials to educate policymakers about the opportunities available to them to improve the health and well-being of young families. We recommend that you insert links to the testimonials in email or print correspondence to policymakers on the Young Families Policy Platform. Click here (PDF) for instructions on preparing such correspondence.

Top Ten for Babies and Toddlers: Zero to Three Lists Top Policy Achievements for 2009

President Obama’s Zero to Five Plan, new federal stimulus funds for early learning and the Early Learning Challenge proposed in Congress are among Zero to Three’s top ten achievements. Several state initiatives also made the list.

Upcoming MOAPPP Trainings

February 10, 2010
2 Trainings: Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers and Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

Both trainings on Wednesday, February 10 in St. Paul.

Meeting the Unique Needs of Adolescent Mothers & Fathers

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Health
Snelling Office Park
1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul
Includes light continental breakfast and lunch

Three common goals of adolescent parent programs are to facilitate long-term self-sufficiency, build parenting capacity and ensure the healthy growth and development of the children born to young parents. This workshop, for professionals new to adolescent parent work, examines national and state data related to adolescent parents; systems that impact adolescent parents; the strengths and opportunities, as well as the challenges young parents bring to their new role; current research on best practices for working with adolescent parents; and the role every provider can play in enhancing the lives of these young families.

Practical Tips for Working with Teen Moms & Dads

2:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Health
Snelling Office Park
1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul

Working with adolescent parents can be both rewarding and challenging. Adults may find themselves unclear how to communicate concepts to young parents in a way that is meaningful and produces results. This workshop provides guidelines for how to develop activities and communicate with youth along with several specific take-away ideas and activities.

Cost for both trainings: $50 MOAPPP members/$85 non-members
Cost for Meeting the Unique Needs training: $35 MOAPPP members/$70 non-members
Cost for Practical Tips: $25 MOAPPP members/$60 non-members

For more information and to register for one or both of these trainings, see the flyer and registration form. Registration scholarships are available. Questions? Contact Sue at 651 644-1447 x15 or [email protected].

Other Upcoming Trainings

January 12 and January 20, 2010
Tax Credit Primer Trainings for Social Service Providers

  • In-person Training: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 from 10:00 am to Noon at the U of MN Urban Research and Outreach Education Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis (Limited to 50 registrants)
  • Online Webinar: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 as UM Connect webinar from 10:00 am to Noon. This presentation will be recorded for later viewing through

Two “Tax Credit Primer Trainings for Social Service Providers” will be held in January 2010. The seminars will provide information about federal and state tax credits, free tax preparation sites, and tax education resources. The information will help human service professionals promote tax filing and the use of free assistance filing resources by low to moderate income people. These trainings are not designed to train in tax preparation procedures. Non-profit, government agency or faith community professionals who work with low- to- moderate income clients may register online.

There is no fee for this workshop, however, registration is necessary as additional training materials may be sent out to the participants. Questions? Contact Rosemary K. Heins, Extension Educator at [email protected], 1-763-767-3879 or 1-800-241-0719.

Workshop sponsors include: University of Minnesota Extension, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, Minnesota Department of Human Services-Office of Economic Opportunity, and Minnesota Community Action Partnership, AccountAbility MN and Minnesota Saves Network.

January 13-15, 2010
Engaging Fathers; Strengthening Families

Arrowwood Resort
2100 Arrowwood Lane NW, Alexandria

The Minnesota Fathers & Families Network and the Strong Foundations Conference are coming together to offer a joint conference, “Strong Foundations & Fatherhood Summit.” The joint conference is designed for professionals in public health, health care, social work/mental health, child care, early childhood education, ECFE, ECSE, School Readiness, Early Head Start, child abuse prevention, home visiting, parenting education, family law, child support, and those who work with refugee and immigrant communities, the field of fatherhood, and other helping professions. Visit for more information and to register.

January 20, 2010
Fetal Origins of Adult Disease

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Wilder Center, St. Paul

The National Children’s Study Speakers’ Series is presenting a talk about the fetal origins. Review of the epidemiologic and biologic evidence about the causes and mechanisms through which fetal development results in a predisposition to chronic diseases, discuss the health effects of environmental exposures during fetal development from individual to population levels, and review potential implications and opportunities for improving health as our knowledge matures and is integrated into health policy and practice. Speakers: Kristin Peterson Oehlke, MS, CGC; State Genomics Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Health. Please RSVP to attend this free talk by emailing Laurie Ukestad at [email protected].

For more resources and information about adolescent parents, visit the Adolescent Parent Program page on the MOAPPP website.