By Cynthia Germain
Young parents in Door County can tap into resources to improve their quality of life through the Cradle to Career Program. The Lakeshore Community Action Program oversees this effort to provide seamless supportive services to county residents who are pregnant or are parents of children under five. Kris Miller, Case Manager for the Door County Cradle to Career Program, says that the intent of the program is to support parents through family goal setting, career planning and connecting them to resources in the community. Miller is pleased that this program supports young families not just in crisis but over time to work towards self-sufficiency.
The process of the program first looks at how basic needs are met and then works towards stability with programs and agencies that can improve a family’s quality of life such as health resources, WIC, legal advice, Head Start, housing assistance, energy assistance, counseling, continuing education and job training. The program was born out of previous program supporting teen parents which had been defunded as teen pregnancies dropped in the county. Volunteers and stakeholders in the community saw a new need for young parents to receive coordinated services and, through a process of assessment and fund sourcing, enabled the Cradle to Career program in 2015.