Background and History
Purposely Chosen, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, founded in 2006 by Dretona Maddox. Its services aim to offer help, hope and healing to displaced minor parents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Our mission to help displaced teen moms keep their babies. We accomplish this mission by providing a safe haven for displaced and at-risk youth; particularly homeless, runaways, and abandoned pregnant and/or parenting adolescent girls, ages 12-18; to unreservedly come to have their basic needs met (i.e., shelter, food, water, love, and respect), and receive support, education, advocacy and access to community resources to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. At Purposely Chosen, we hope that our services will enable these adolescents to discover their supreme purpose in life, overcome the obstacles of homelessness, and gain self-sufficiency.
Statistics on Displaced Adolescents
Based on the latest statistics (2007), an estimated 1.25 million, or 1 in every 58 children was determined by Child Protective Services (CPS) to be victims of abuse or neglect in the United States. An average of nearly four (4) children dies every day as a result of abuse or neglect (1,760 in 2007).
Here in the Coachella Valley, approximately 65 children are removed from their homes each month as a result of abuse or neglect. Given the large number of children entering the system, and due to the lack of licensed foster and adoptive families, many of theses adolescents are placed outside of the area, away from schools, friends and life’s other familiarities that they hold so dear. This results in adolescents (ages 13-18) going AWOL (absence without official leave), living on the streets, homeless and engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Statistics on Teen Pregnancy
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), teen pregnancy accounts for more than $9 billion per year in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.
Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, versus nearly 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence.
The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face employment as a young adults.
These effects remain for the teen mother and her child even after adjusting for those factors that increased the teenager’s risk for pregnancy; such as, growing up in poverty, having parents with low levels of education, growing up in a single-parent family, and having low attachment to and performance in school.
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