Family First – not just for pregnancy

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Two Volunteers and Clare Grochocki.JPG

Brenda Walker, far left, and Gilda Macbain, center, volunteer their time, helping Family First director Clare Grochocki. Nina Crowder | Copper Area News

By Nina Crowder

Copper Area News

Clare Grochocki is the Center Director of Family First Pregnancy Care Center, and with two locations one in Oracle and one in Winkelman, Clare stays very busy.

The Family First Pregnancy Care Center provides a safe, confidential, non-judgmental and compassionate place for women facing a planned or unplanned pregnancy, post-abortion trauma or from sexual activity disturbances. Boys and girls, men and women are encouraged to take advantage of the free programs offered to help the people of our communities. Education is provided at both centers as well as in schools. Youth face pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, dating violence and planning for the future.

Family First is a 501 (c)3 organization, designated by the federal government as a public charity. Family First is incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the state of Arizona, all contributions are tax deductible for Federal and Arizona State taxes.

Family First serves three Arizona counties: Pima County (Northern Tucson, Catalina and Marana); Pinal County (Oracle, Mammoth, San Manuel, Dudleyville, Kearny and Superior); and Gila County (Hayden and Winkelman). A large part of the service area reaches out to the rural areas where services are normally not available.

The new year has started with volunteer and staff training. They lost a few volunteers last year so they are looking for a few new volunteers. The veteran volunteers are also going through training as it will help sharpen their skills. They are eager to get going and do what they can to help the customers and communities.

Family First has free pregnancy testing, information on adoption, abortion, foster care and parenting. Many people feel the center just offers the programs on pregnancy, but that is not true, there are many life skills that are taught. GED classes are held to help further education; this is with the help of Central Arizona College. Also provided are skills and tools for life and future planning including budgeting, utilities, apartment/home planning and many other tools are offered.

The Family First Organization provides prenatal care, child development, sexual integrity, child car seat safety classes and inspections, career choices, story time for toddlers and mothers, Fatherhood Program and Family Diaper Bank.

A special program Ten for Teens is a part of the “Earn While You Learn” parenting program. Family First Ten For Teens is geared towards education for teens on pregnancy issues, STD’s, substance abuse, dating abuse and careers. The Earn While You Learn program gives women and men the opportunity to earn credits that can be used to purchase material items: baby clothes, diapers, blankets, formula and other baby items.

At both centers mothers and fathers are provided an opportunity to learn how to be the best parents they can be! Through regular meetings and lessons that include videos, worksheets, parents learn important and interesting information about pregnancy, their upcoming baby and parenting. There are many topics to choose from and the staff at Family First will put together a lesson plan that fits the individual’s needs. Most importantly parents will work with a parenting instructor who will be able to help parents have a better understanding of the challenges and joys that are ahead for them and their family.

The Ten for Teens program has a small cost of $10 a month to guide teens in making wise choices. The small donation will impact the life of our youth. Just think how nice it would be to not have to worry about your youth being involved in alcohol, violence, sexual activity and drug use. This program could make a big enough impact to change the decisions your youth may make in the future.

Last year Family First mentored 188 teens through their Sexual Integrity Program. Abstinent teens on average make more over their lifetime than sexually active teens. Around 80 percent of teen mothers remain on welfare for life. Since the inception of Family First Pregnancy Care Center, the teen pregnancy rate has decreased by over 20 percent.

Clare and her volunteers are very passionate about trying to help our youth with pregnancy and life skills. If given the opportunity look into what Family First Care Center can do for you and your youth. If you are interested in adoption and or Foster Care, please feel free to contact Family First to see what they can do for you.

Family First office in Oracle is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the phone number is 520-896-9545 and the Winkelman office is open on Tuesday the phone number is 520-269-9152. They are extremely willing and proud to help out!

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