Raising children can be an expensive responsibility for parents on a tight budget. This is particularly true for teen parents who are unemployed or trying to finish school. The good news for teenage moms and expectant mothers is that numerous private and government-funded organisations offer a considerable amount of financial help for teen mothers.
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Immediate Assistance -- TANF
If you are a pregnant teen or teen mother in need of medical, nutritional and financial assistance, the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS) offers a variety of programs that can help, with agency locations nationwide. Even if you are under 18 years old, once you become pregnant you will be eligible for various financial assistance programs to ensure the well being of you and your child. You may receive food stamps and medical coverage for yourself and your child. Teen mothers can also receive monthly cash benefits, providing that you are willing to participate in any required work or education programs. You may also be eligible for child care assistance to enable you to work or finish school. Check with your local HHS office for eligibility requirements in your area.
Financial Incentive Education Programs
California teen moms -- or expectant mothers -- can request financial assistance from the Alameda County Social Services through its "Cal-Learn" program. The program serves pregnant teens and teen moms as an incentive to continue their education and decrease the amount of "high school dropouts" due to teen parenting. There are few eligibility requirements for this program outside of being under 20 years old, a parent or expectant mother and not having a high school diploma or GED. The program awards up to £260 per year -- in £65 instalments -- to teen moms who continue to attend school and maintain passing grades. Upon graduation, participants are eligible to receive a final grant in the amount of £325. You may also apply for a secondary grant to afford your graduation expenses.
Single Mom Scholarships
The "Scholarships 4 Moms" program does not offer any financial assistance specifically for teens and caters primarily to mothers over 18 years old who are pursuing a college education. However, with a little fancy footwork teen moms who are under 18 can take full advantage of the same £6,500 college scholarships offered to adult applicants. Because Scholarships 4 Moms grants are transferable, if you have a friend or family member who qualifies and receives a college scholarship through the program they can extend the opportunity to you, even if you are under 18 years old.
Open Grant Applications & Contribution Opportunities
If you are a teen mother who is in need of financial assistance due to a temporary setback, but are otherwise able to sustain a stable environment for yourself and your child, you may be eligible to receive assistance for a wide variety of financial difficulties through the "Modest Needs" organisation. Modest Needs is a program that allows needy applicants the opportunity to post a plea for financial assistance on a public website where volunteer donors can review your proposal and offer you the financial assistance you need. All grant applications are processed and verified by Modest Needs staff members prior to posting, but the ultimate approval of your application is determined by the actual donors.
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- Young Mommies: About YM
- SCC Gov: Help for Teenage Mothers
- Scholarships 4 Moms: Register
- Modest Needs® Foundation: Contact Us
- Alameda County Social Services: Cal-Learn: Contact Us
- Urban Institute: TANF and the Status of Teen Mothers under Age 18
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Contacting HHS
- WorkWORLD: TANF Overview
- College Financial Aid Guide: Scholarships For Single Mothers