Maternity group homes are intensive, comprehensive support programs for pregnant and parenting young women and their children. The homes visited for this study provide an extensive array of services to the families living there. At the most basic level, all the homes provide secure housing and extensive adult supervision and structure to their residents. They also offer a core set of other support services, including parenting and life-skills lessons and case management. The homes commonly assist their residents in connecting with a variety of outside services and provide logistical supports — such as child care and transportation assistance — to enable them to access additional services outside the home and to attend school, work, and other activities. In addition to these common services, some maternity group homes strive to offer additional services on site, such as mental health services, educational assistance, follow-up services for former residents, and services to the fathers of residents’ children.
Through these intensive programs of comprehensive services, maternity group homes have the potential to benefit disadvantaged young mothers and their children in both the short and long term. As will be seen in the next chapter, however, the cost of providing these services, particularly intensive supervision, can be high.