Vera Casey Teen Parenting Program
The Vera Casey Teen Parenting Program works to facilitate the well-being and self-sufficiency of teen parents by providing and coordinating comprehensive services supporting a healthy pregnancy, healthy children, and the well-being of the whole family. This holistic approach is predicated on the belief that when student parents are healthy and feel well, and have quality child care for their children, they perform better academically.
Berkeley High School Health Center
1980 Allston Way, Room H-105, Berkeley, CA 94704
Vera Casey Center
2246 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
(Child care hours depend on student's academic schedule)*
The program is a key partner in the Vera Casey Collaborative, in which the students receive specialized case management and parenting education from Public Health Division staff, the babies receive child care and child development services provided by Head Start staff, and the School District provides administrative support and acts as the fiscal agent.
Berkeley continues to have the lowest teen birth rate of any health jurisdiction in California, but through the community's commitment to the 35-year history of this program, we are able to provide needed support to about 30 teen parents and their children every year.
What services does the Vera Casey Teen Parenting Program offer?
- The Program’s case management model links medical, psychological and social services, the school environment, and childcare and development services. Students receive counseling, get enrolled in health insurance, referred to prenatal care, WIC, Public Health Nursing, and other support services according to their individual need. The Program also works closely with school staff to ensure that students are in the right academic program for their stage of life, are attending school, and know what it takes to graduate and plan for beyond high school. Assists teen parents not attending school in re-enrolling.
A weekly Parenting Class for academic credit meets every Thursday at 3:30 at the Vera Casey Center, and is co-facilitated by Public Health, Americorps, and a Mental Health staff intern. The Parenting Class provides support, education, speakers and field trips on pregnancy, positive parenting, life skills, and future planning. Students in the program say they experience less isolation and a strong sense of community among fellow participants.
Students’ children receive free childcare and child development services at the Vera Casey Center while the student parents are in school or extracurricular activities. The newly renovated Center is conveniently located across the street from Berkeley High School and 5 blocks from B-Tech Academy and Independent Studies at 2246 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (at Bancroft). High attendance is an expectation of program participation. Spaces are limited, and it is advised to fill out enrollment paperwork at the Vera Casey Center as early in the pregnancy as possible to get priority.
- Students are given opportunities to speak in the community about their experiences as teen parents and participate in community health events.
Who is the program for? Serves pregnant and parenting teen mothers and fathers under age 19 who attend any Berkeley Public School. Assists with re-enrolling teen parents not attending school.
Cost for Services: FREE
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish
Additional Helpful Information
Vera Casey Center/Head Start Enrollment
Other Teen Parenting Programs in California
Resources for working with pregnant and parenting teens
BE A STAR
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
2-1-1 Phone Service: http://www.edenir.org/ Clicking this link will take you to Eden I & R 2-1-1 services. City of Berkeley supports the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Line to help people find affordable housing and critical social services in Berkeley and in Alameda County.