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Children's Home expands to help young moms

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 11, 2016
An organization is helping teen mothers in foster care turn their lives around.
 
The Children's Home in Tampa encourages young mothers to push forward.
 
"What I have found is the girls are very afraid in the beginning and through working with us and others, they find a path for themselves," Barbara McCormick said.
 
McCormick is the director of the maternity home at the Children's Home. She said they have noticed an increase in the number of teens getting pregnant, who are in foster care. Part of their mission is to prevent another pregnancy through education.
 
"We provide a plethora of therapy and group therapy and life skills and like I said it's a program versus just a home," McCormick said.
 
While McCormick said the number of teens who are pregnant and in foster care is rising, that is not the trend across the state. According to the Florida Department of Health, since 2010 the number of births of children whose mothers were 19 years old or younger decreased by more than 6,000. The stat is not specific to teens in foster care. The Children's Home will open a second maternity home soon and it will be available to 20 additional mothers and their children.
 
"We're the only licensed foster care maternity home in Hillsborough County," McCormick said.
 
Carina Garcia, 16, gave birth to a baby girl three months ago. She said the Children's Home is giving her an opportunity at a better life.
 
"When I found out I was pregnant, it was shocking, but I mean I was happy (to) a point because I was like...in a bad situation," Garcia said.
 
The Children's home provides Garcia and other mother's resources that they may never have had access to before.
 
"It's helped me a lot because I don't know where I'd be at, if the maternity home wasn't here," Garcia said.
 
Garcia plans to get her GED and she aspires to become a cook. She said the love for her daughter is helping her move forward. Garcia said she has support from many people.
 
"When I look at her, I actually feel loved because if I don't have anybody to talk to I can talk to her," Garcia said.
 
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.