Maternity Group Homes Classification and Literature Review. Classification Element 1: Resident Population

03/08/2004

This dimension covers the number of residents served and the basic characteristics that made them eligible to live in the maternity group home. Homes range along this dimension from those that welcome a broad population, and include a wide variety of types of residents, to those that focus on a particular subgroup. The resident population may be correlated with program goals or with an individual home's sources of funding or referrals.

At one extreme of this dimension are homes with very few eligibility requirements. They tend to accept teen applicants of all ages, whether pregnant or parenting, regardless of their eligibility for TANF, foster care or other social services. Some even have the capacity to serve families with more than one child. Homes that serve broad populations are likely to rely on a number of different funding sources and accept referrals from a variety of organizations and agencies. Examples of maternity group homes close to this end of the spectrum are St. Elizabeth's in Indiana, which has no age restrictions and serves both pregnant and parenting teens, and the Northwest Pregnancy Center and Maternity Home in Washington, DC, which serves both teens and young women in their early 20s who are either pregnant or parenting as many as two children (Sylvester 1995).

At the other extreme are homes that serve a narrowly defined population. Eligibility requirements for residence in these maternity group homes could be based on age, family composition, or eligibility for a particular social service. For example, some homes accept only mandatory placements of minors in foster care, while others serve only older teens, possibly due to consent issues related to serving minors. Some homes further restrict their target population to pregnant girls or those parenting their first child. The reasons for targeting a particular population are in some cases due to program goals, while in other cases are the result of practical considerations. Some homes with narrow target populations receive funding and referrals from a single source, such as child welfare or TANF agencies, which determine the eligibility of applicants. Examples of homes at this end of the spectrum include Massachusetts' Teen Living Program homes, which serve only TANF recipients, and the Tapestry Home in Georgia, which serves only teen mothers in state custody.

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