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Growing up together

Surviving on assistance

With no job, high school diploma or place of her own, Katie had to turn to the community for help in raising her son. She found assistance through the Healthy Families program with the Kansas Children’s Service League.

Lessons in motherhood

Throughout Katie Schimmel's pregnancy, she visits regularly with family support worker Jenni Stark from the Kansas Children's Service League. Stark works with Katie to prepare for her delivery and gives her tips on parenting.

Comments

greenworld 4 years, 10 months ago

Looks like your using assistance which is good. Definately make sure the father pays child support whether he is involved in your childs life or not. If he was responsible for the pure enjoyment of making the child than he needs to man up and show some resposibilty. Looks like your heading in the right direction. Take one step at a time. Get you a good job and a place to stay and then work on things from there. I would strongly suggest looking for a man who will support you and your child and can give you both love and financially support you guys. Everyday seems difficult at times im sure being a single mom but each step of the way it will be worth it in the end. Your child will bond closer and closer to you everyday and you will see that things will start to become easier. Establish a good support system in your family, dad whoever and maybe even find God in your life. Church is an excellant place that will make you and your child feel less of a burdon on alot of things. Keep praying and asking God to show you the rightous path. Keep believing in yourself and I think you will be fine.

HoneyDew 4 years, 10 months ago

As a singe parent myself, I am having trouble understanding why this girl's story is anything but horribly dissappointing and NOT worthy of coverage. Why on Earth is she on assistance? Get a JOB. She's 18, so what? There are pregnant 12 year olds in this town. She is legally an adult, there is no reason she should not have been working this whole time. Anyone who thinks that they don't have to work to support life that THEY created is not worth reading about.

cammieb 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm so glad to see that Katie has accessed support services through Healthy Families. From the video, it is clear how Healthy Families has made a valuable difference to Katie and her baby.

There are a variety of home visiting programs in the state of Kansas that support families with young children. They include: Parents as Teachers, Early Head Start and Head Start, Healthy Families, Infant Toddler Special Services, and Healthy Start. These programs are evidence-based and free to families. Parents as Teachers and Healthy Start are universal programs, available to any families prenatal through age 3. The others serve families based on need, income, or risk factors.

All of these programs have shown to impact child outcomes in school readiness and academic assessments. They also prevent child abuse & neglect, increase parent participation in their child's education, and save school districts & communities many dollars that would have been spent on more intensive services later in life.

Funding for these programs are currently in jeopardy. Please contact your legislators and let them know how these programs have impacted Kansas families.

Katie, you are doing a great job! Remember, you are your child's 1st best teacher. Parenting is hard at any age. You have made a great choice to be a good mother by seeking support.

HoneyDew 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yankeevet 4 years, 10 months ago

There seem to be alot of single mothers out there with kids............

feetup 4 years, 10 months ago

i was 22 with my first. old by standards then. Hubby proved to be unable to "stick it out'. Point is, i tried to get assistance many times back in the 80's n early 90s. was always told i made too much money. My kids were raised in day care, were latchkey kids as they got older, and no worse for the wear. I had no option but to work. it hurt to leave them with daycare everyday. I'd drive 20 miles in KC for descent day care. Most of the time the boys ate better at day care than we did at home. Katie, stand up, get up and get moving. Best thing you can do for your self and your child is get busy starting a life for the two of you! Use every resource available, leave no stone unturned. Someone or some agency tells you no, so be it, move on to the next plan. I used to call it "finding an ace". My sons may not have have whatever they wanted, but we had what we needed.

number3of5 4 years, 10 months ago

Katie's story has been going on for years, just different names and different places. I suppose there are some people out there who need to be made aware of the number of times it happens. Some of us are lucky enough to have men who stand by us all the way. I had my first child at 16 but I was married to the father of the child by then. In June we will celebrate our 50th anniversary. It is hard for a single mom or dad to make it today, even with a job. On public assistance Katie will still have a hard time without support from someone, especially if she does not have a high school education. Taking care of her child is her first priority, second should be getting an education so she can support her child in the future.

iloveme 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't get why this is making top headlines. Who cares? Another teenage pregnancy. Did anyone see the story on 6 news last night? She didn't even know she was pregnant until 20 weeks along!! Come on! How could you not notice something is not right with your body?

fudgystuff 4 years, 10 months ago

I think the lesson from this is teaching girls from 4th grade on up is to learn how to say NO. This is 2010, birth control should be the 2nd option, if you feel you must have sex... Teaching girls at a young age is the most important thing we can do, not only from parents but from teachers too. Alot of girls don't have good parents as role models, therefore teachers must step up. Lawrence needs to provide free birth control for girls over 14. I agree with HoneyDew, this girl needs to work full time. Get some assistance for day care, stay with a friend until you can save up some money, maybe enroll at JCCC & use financial aid to help you live in the beginning. Staying home doing nothing will get you nowhere. You made our bed now you must buck up & sleep in it. File papers to get child support from the dad also & make him accountable. (He should be working full time also). You are both young & healthy, try to work 40 hrs if not more....This is the price you pay for 5 minutes of sex, I hope you are now on a long term birth control otherwise you are doomed to fail.

Bassetlover 4 years, 10 months ago

My heart goes out to the baby......innocently born into a life of so many disadvantages. It scares me for his future. I wish Katie had considered giving him up for adoption to a family who was able to give him everything he will need and deserve. Sure, she loves him. But that is simply not enough.

ChristineMetz 4 years, 10 months ago

Hi,

For those who have questions about why the Lawrence Journal-World and 6News did a story about Katie - here's a link to a comment I made in another thread.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/feb/28/teenager-mother/#c1165704

Thanks for your interest and comments. Christine Metz Special Projects Reporter Lawrence Journal-World

fan4kufootball 4 years, 10 months ago

Katie will pay the consequences for this error in judgement over and over again. In about six months with the "honeymoon" period of a new baby is over and all of her friends are out dating and having fun she will be at home with a baby. She will continue to pay the consequences until the child is 18 and out on its own. Hopefully the father will step up and be a decent human being and do whatever he can to support the mother and the baby both financially and emotionally.

I would like to see a follow up on this story in about six months to a year so other teenagers can see what the Katie has to say about all of this then. Maybe others will be able to learn from her mistake.

AlligatorMama 4 years, 9 months ago

This whole article makes me angry...we are glorifying teen pregnancy and making it look like it's a positive choice - it isn't! I understand it happens, but what is going to happen to this poor baby? He is going to grow up living on assistance and the cycle will just keep going and going.

I wish this had been about making unselfish choices and giving the baby up to a family who CAN support and love him without assistance in a loving home that can provide above and beyond his needs. Raising a child is about so much more than love and no way would I ever have considered doing it without a husband, a house and a steady income. Even with all of those things there are times that being a mom to two is tough! I can't imagine doing it without those things. It's not fair to the kids.

I feel bad for the baby, I'm glad she loves him but as previous posters have said, it's just not enough.

grammaddy 4 years, 9 months ago

Nobody said she would be on assistance forever. Single parenting is not an easy job, but it can be done! I also did the adoption thing at her age. If you've never done that don't judge.It haunts you forever.All adoptive parents are not as loving as we would like to believe. Everyone must do what is right for them.It may be hard going at first but the benefits are many.

Kelly Johnson 4 years, 9 months ago

Quote: "Raising a child is about so much more than love and no way would I ever have considered doing it without a husband, a house and a steady income"

I guess you're lucky that you never got divorced or lost your job...otherwise you would have had to give your kids up for adoption.

Kelly Johnson 4 years, 9 months ago

Quote: "Raising a child is about so much more than love and no way would I ever have considered doing it without a husband, a house and a steady income"

I guess you're lucky that you never got divorced or lost your job...otherwise you would have had to give your kids up for adoption.

butterflylvr 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Bassetlover. She needs to do what is right for that baby, rather than be selfish.

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