Since 1984, Angel's Place, Inc. a nonprofit, non-denominational agency, has provided the opportunity for single low-income student parents to complete their education, secure satisfying employment, establish careers and become self-sufficient, responsible citizens.
With three locations in Pittsburgh, Angels' Place offers services at no cost to their client families. Their services include early childhood education, child care, parenting classes, counseling, tutoring, career exploration, job placement assistance, and assistance with practical needs such as food, clothing and nursery furniture.
Two of the three centers have recently been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAIYC). In addition, Keystone Stars, the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare Child Care Quality Initiative, has awarded both centers the highest rating of Four Stars. It is expected that the third center will reach the same prestigious recognition in 2006.
The need for Angel's Place and the services they provide cannot be overestimated for at-risk children and their parents. In 2003, the Allegheny County Health Department reported that 4,266 babies were born to unwed mothers. These young people are at an increased risk to have more stressful life events, limited resources, and other demographic disadvantages that accompany single parenthood.
Such circumstances can, of course have a devastating effect on the children that these young parents are trying to raise. However, children living in poverty who had the opportunity to attend high quality, early childhood programs had a significantly higher graduation rate, fewer criminal arrests and higher earnings than non-participants according to the recent High Scope study.
Angels' Place provides the children of the student parent clients with a high-quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood program. Such a program can predict academic success, adjustment to school, and reduced behavioral problems for children in elementary school. Angels' Place also seeks to actively encourage and advance high levels of scholastic achievements of our student parents while fostering a greater understanding of self, family and community.
Each student parent makes an individual commitment to maintain satisfactory progress by earning passing grades and attending classes regularly on a full-time basis, give two hours of volunteer service per week to Angels' Place and continue to develop parenting skills through participation in center programs and weekly support meetings. In addition, each student parent is given support and direction in his or her efforts to define, clarify and achieve academic, personal, professional and family goals through a comprehensive Family Support Program.
The program serves the community by providing a practical, progressive and compassionate approach to the problems associated with single parenthood, school dropouts and welfare dependency.