Moms Unite to Break the Intergenerational Cycle of Foster Care: Alliance of Moms’ Raising Baby Event
- Kristiana Tarnuzzer
…know young adults aging out of foster care have a significantly increased risk of homelessness, economic instability and poverty? In Los Angeles, 58% of young women in foster care experience at least one pregnancy by age 19 and their children have a higher likelihood of entering foster care themselves, creating a vicious cycle. Enter powerhouse group of influential LA based women and mamas…Alliance of Moms. Founded in 2014, Alliance of Moms (AOM) is a membership based group that supports the work of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, whose mission is to break the intergenerational cycle of foster care for pregnant and parenting teens in Los Angeles County.
Their flagship event, Raising Baby, was held on Saturday, November 3rd. An interactive day with a curriculum focused on early brain development, the event is attended by over 50 young moms (and this year, many dads!) who are currently in or have recently aged out of the foster care system. Over 100 AOM members step in to volunteer their time and services. Some drive young moms and their children to the event, some handle the breakfast and lunch in the kitchen, others provide childcare for older kids and babies while the parents attended workshops. The Baby Room was perhaps the cutest room, packed with AOM moms waiting their turn to snuggle and rock a baby back to sleep. I felt so fortunate to work the Check In station where I was able to welcome so many guests -- from the families to the bad ass AOM members, and pop in to help out across each of the rooms. This day is run like a machine -- so well organized, so thorough, not a detail missed…but I guess that’s what you get when a group of mommies is in charge!
…brought in experts to present interactive sessions on early brain development. This year’s workshops included Foundations of Literacy by Maria Elena Hernandez of Ready, Set, Read emphasizing the importance of a parent’s role in a child’s literacy development, ongoing academic success, and overall self-confidence; Mindful Pregnancy & Parenting by Erica Chidi Cohen of LOOM whose session touched on all things pregnancy and parenting; Sleep Solutions by Sleepy Planet Parenting sharing tips and tools to encourage peaceful sleep, simply and swiftly. So necessary…I remember all too well the toll those sleepless nights took on me! It was so fulfilling to see the experts engage with the families, but even more so, the moms engaging with each other, sharing stories and opening up -- a space they felt comfortable and confident enough to do so.
The generosity of sponsors and donors of items was incredible. This year’s Presenting Sponsor was CuddleBright, a resource kit for families that helps form healthy attachments between parents and children. Other sponsors and donors included Milk Snob, UppaBaby, Lovevery, The Book Foundation, and Mini Maven. At the end of the day, every guest left with a goody bag tote from Baby K’tan full of age appropriate brand new items that reflect the content of the workshops from the day.
…this is just one day for us as volunteers, the benefits and impact of the day last a lifetime for the parents. Said beautifully by a fellow AOM mom: “When you remove age, titles and socioeconomic differences, we’re all just parents loving our kids and trying to figure it out.” Interested in becoming a part of this lifechanging group of women? Find out more on Alliance of Moms here: http://allianceofmoms.org.