BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter is providing mentoring services for moms with local support in Iberia, St. Mary and St. Martin parishes.
Entering the fourth year of the partnership, the Mentoring Mom’s program provides home-based hands-on guidance for parents and guardians.
Mandy Armentor, the LSU AgCenter nutrition agent in Vermilion and Iberia parishes, said the $23,162 grant covers program activities for 41 weeks each school year from September to May.
“We work with parents and youth in life skills, such as problem solving, family goal setting, basic discipline skills, community resources, communication skills, nutrition and health, family structuring, and school-related problems,” she said.
The ultimate goal of the program is to help parents raise their children to be healthy and well-rounded individuals.
Armentor said participants in the program are parents who are single mothers or fathers, couples, grandparents and parents coping with change, such as divorce.
“The cases come from the case managers in the schools,” Armentor said. “Kids who are having problems in school are referred to the case managers.”
The case managers then meet with the parents and suggest services available in the parishes and Mentoring Moms is one of the programs, Armentor said.
Gannon Watts, administrative director at the Sixteenth Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Family Service Division, said the LSU AgCenter is a good fit because of the family work the agents already do.
“We are addressing the needs of families in areas such as basic parenting skills, medication management and nutrition, and the LSU AgCenter has expertise in the areas we are focusing on,” Watts said.
Watts said the Mentoring Moms program has been in operation for about 12 years through the District Attorney’s office.
“This program is unique because we were approached by the 16th judicial district attorney’s office,” Armentor said. “They were wondering what we could do with them.”
Children from kindergarten to junior high are serviced by the program along with their parents or caregivers, she explained.
Armentor said the Mentoring Moms program is sustainable, because it is designed to renew the contract each year.
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