Strong Mothers
At Forestdale, young women learn to make informed choices and lead healthy, successful lives

Forestdale’s Strong Mothers program help young women, aged 12-24 years old, gain the support they need to realize their leadership potential.

Forestdale provides comprehensive sexuality education to young people. We work in NYC neighborhoods with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections to provide accurate information and resources to avoid unplanned pregnancy and achieve financial self-sufficiency.  Our evidence-based curricula, taught in English and Spanish, include experiential activities to build skills in negotiation, refusal, and condom use.  Forestdale’s youth ambassadors lead discussions, using language and expressions that are comfortable to their peers, and share information through our texting service for weekly reproductive health information.

Forestdale helps young parents plan for a better future by making wise choices in parenting and sexual health.  A sample of core services includes: parenting skills training to foster nurturing and secure attachment;  counseling to help women find stable living environments (88% of our young women experience domestic violence); doula matching to help women with prenatal, labor, and post-natal support; and access to Forestdale’s Family Store, stocked with clothing, diapers and baby gear from local donors and our partners at Good+ Foundation, referrals to and assistance obtaining needed entitlements (i.e., SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, etc.)

In 2019 Forestdale launched an agency-wide program called A Window to Healing to provide support and therapeutic services to children who have witnessed domestic violence, primary caregivers who have experienced domestic violence, and abusive partners. This program includes a 10-week Children’s Group (ages 0-14), a 12-week Primary Caregivers’ Group (for mothers), and a 26-week Abusive Partners’ Group for fathers who have committed acts of family violence (and who often disclose family histories of DV).

A key leader in New York City’s Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative, Forestdale offers weekly workshops for Queens women of reproductive age about:  Women’s Reproductive Health Care; Family Planning; Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV; Mental Health Wellness; Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships; Safe Sleep Practices; Sexuality Education/Preventive Sexual Behavior; Contraception; Developmental Stages and Expectations; Smoking and Alcohol Cessation During Pregnancy; Infant Care; and Home and Child Safety.  Key goals of these sessions are to see an increase in healthy births, increase of on-time receipt of appropriate prenatal care, and increase of breastfeeding incidence and duration.

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