This manual produced by the Survival Skills Institute of Minneapolis describes the cultural values that should be considered when working with African American adolescent parents, including beliefs about sexuality, birth control, abortion, adoption, and family structure. Social workers and other service providers are advised to respect the community values as positive influences on the lives of young people. Stereotypes and judgmental attitudes create an adversarial, distrusting atmosphere that is not conducive to skill development. The Survival Skills Institute established the Black Adolescent Parent Program to address the needs of the young parents in the target community. The initiative offered counseling, education, crisis intervention, recreation, child care, transportation, and education programs about personal development and parenting. Culturally relevant activities were coordinated by a multi-disciplinary team that included a social worker, leaders for men's and women's groups, volunteers, and support persons. Staff conducted assessments in the homes of clients as well as in the office at accessible hours. The six month curriculum addresses social and emotional health, sexuality, child development, child rearing, discipline, nutrition, child health, substance abuse, and independent living skills. General guidelines for service to the population emphasize the structure of the family (nuclear or extended) and the family's willingness to discuss problematic behavior.
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