Pregnancy services / ECHO

At the very heart of our Pregnancy Services is our deep and abiding concern for individuals and families struggling with the challenges of an untimely pregnancy. Our clients are usually, but not always, unmarried.

We provide life-affirming pregnancy counseling to help our clients make the very difficult decision of whether to parent their children or place them with an adoptive family. Our goal is to provide the information and emotional support our clients need to make the decision that’s right for them.

Although the majority of our clients choose to parent their children, we continue to provide our assistance to clients who choose adoption.

It’s important to note that our Adoption Program, which places children in loving homes, exists because of our pregnancy counseling. We do not provide pregnancy counseling to further our Adoption Program.

In addition to counseling, other services we offer include pregnancy planning; parent education; referrals to community resources that provide assistance with food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; and support services following delivery.

For more information about our Pregnancy Services, contact:

Tosha Gearhart, M.S.W
Family Services Coordinator
(260) 422-5625, ext. 258
tgearhart@ccfwsb.org

ECHO (EDUCATION CREATES HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY)


While our Pregnancy Services are available to people of all ages, we also provide services specifically for younger people through ECHO (Education Creates Hope and Opportunity).

Since 1998, ECHO case managers from both Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services have been working with Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools to provide one-on-one support and assistance to local students facing unplanned pregnancy and coping with the challenges of parenting. In 2011, we expanded the program to St. Joseph County.

ECHO was created to serve this target population due to the consistently high drop-out rates among teen parents and the rising pregnancy rates among young people nationwide. The program is geared toward helping pregnant and parenting teenagers access community resources and toward creating a support system to help them achieve their educational goals.

ECHO offers services that center on emotional support, time management, parenting skills, health care, child-care providers, child support, and baby supplies. Program participants may also be referred to other programs, such as Healthy Families and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

By providing support and services, ECHO case managers hope to achieve the program’s ultimate goal of enabling participants to stay in school and earn a high school diploma or GED. ECHO also enables some participants to pursue higher education.

ECHO Teen Parenting

Catholics Charities’ ECHO Teen Parenting provides long-term case management to pregnant and parenting teenagers in Allen and St. Joseph Counties. ECHO Teen Parenting is a school- and home-based program that provides guidance and resources, enabling participants to earn a high school diploma or GED while successfully parenting their children.

Case managers meet with participants individually at school or at home, help participants set realistic educational goals, and provide participants with guidance and encouragement to meet those goals.

Educational Support for Young Parents

Catholic Charities’ ECHO ncludes an Educational Support for Young Parents program. This segment of ECHO is for parents under the age of 24 who have graduated from high school or earned a GED and are furthering their education through college or job-training programs.

The ECHO staff is available to work with these young people in the same capacity as with high school students, with more emphasis placed on independent-living skills, financial literacy, and career planning. Referral systems are set up through local parishes and social service agencies. Self-referrals are also accepted. Interested young adults who fit the new criteria are welcome to call (260) 422-5625, ext. 246 or (574) 234-3111, ext. 26. The program is free and voluntary. Case managers will be happy to answer any questions or help someone get started in the program.

ECHO – FAQs

ECHO Brochures
Download Adoption Services Birth Parents Brochure
Download Adoption Services Adoptive Parents Brochure
Download Adoption Services Open Adoption Brochure
Download ECHO Educational Support Brochure
Download ECHO Teen Parenting Brochure

For more information about ECHO, please contact:

Tosha Gearhart, M.S.W
ECHO Supervisor
(260) 422-5625, ext. 258
tgearhart@ccfwsb.org

Natalie Corazzi, B.A.
ECHO Case Manager
(260) 422-5625, ext. 274
ncorazzi@ccfwsb.org

Kwajalein Reed, M.S.
ECHO Case Manager
(574) 234-3111, ext. 26
kreed@ccfwsb.org

 

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