ECHO Frequently Asked Questions

How can ECHO Teen Parenting help me?

ECHO Teen Parenting is intended to help students stay in school and earn a high school diploma. However, each case is different because each student is different. Case managers work with clients to assess their needs and to find available community resources that will address specific problem areas. For example, some students need assistance finding tutoring opportunities or help with homework. Other teen parents may need assistance with baby supplies and parenting classes to take the stress out of home life and enable them to focus on school. Students meet with their case managers on a weekly to biweekly basis so that their needs can be continuously re-evaluated. While case managers can’t raise students’ grades, they do everything they can to help program participants help themselves.

How much does ECHO cost?

There is no cost to participate. ECHO is funded by grants from the United Way and Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. Case managers may refer students to outside resources that charge for services, but taking advantage of these referrals is always optional.

How do I get started in ECHO Teen Parenting?

If you’re currently enrolled in Fort Wayne Community Schools, Huntington County Community Schools, or East Allen County Schools, you can talk to your school nurse or guidance counselor. Self-referrals are also accepted. Interested students who meet program criteria and are enrolled in school or a GED program may call Lindsay Herbert at (260) 422-5625, ext. 274, or Liz Flaherty at (260) 422-5625, ext. 246. Or send us an e-mail at eflaherty@ccfwsb.org or lherbert@ccfwsb.org. Include your name, school, contact information, and any other important information about yourself, and we’ll be happy to either call or e-mail you more information.

How long can I participate in Teen Parenting?

Students are eligible to participate until they’ve graduated from high school or completed a GED. Case managers can also provide up to six months of “aftercare,” assistance for graduates to help them adjust to work or continuing education after high school.

Can I participate if I’ve already graduated?

Yes. ECHO case managers are now available to offer services to parents under the age of 24 who wish to continue their education through college or trade school. Ask us about the ECHO Educational Support for Young Parents program.

Can I join if I’m parenting, but not pregnant right now?

Yes. Students may join the program after they’ve given birth. Case managers provide support for both pregnant and parenting individuals.

Will my parents be involved?

If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign all releases, including a participation agreement. Parents don’t need to be at every meeting, but are encouraged to participate with their children as much as possible.

I’m a teenage father. May I participate in the program?

Yes. Although most participants are young mothers, the program is open to men as well. Teen fathers have many of the same obstacles to overcome as teen mothers. ECHO encourages fathers to participate in their children’s lives as much as possible. Another option that many young men prefer is to support their girlfriend or child’s mother by attending ECHO meetings and other recommended parenting classes as her support person.

What if I join, and then change my mind? Do I have to stay in the program until I graduate?

Participation in ECHO is completely voluntary. If at any time you no longer feel that the program is suited for you or helpful to your situation, you may withdraw. Please feel free to share your feelings with your case manager. We understand that not every program is right for every person, and we would be happy to help you find assistance that’s better suited to your and your family’s particular needs. 

 

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