Step By Step believes every pregnancy can be a catalyst of change for both mom and baby.
Published April 2018
Step By Step’s maternity support program began in 1997 in order to provide support and encouragement to low income and at-risk pregnant women who were facing poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, addictions and other serious risk factors that put them and their babies at risk. The women we serve are much more likely to experience a pre-term birth or suffer from other complications during their pregnancy. Likewise, their babies are at risk of being born at a low birth weight or with other health consequences, many of which can have a lifelong negative affect.
The choices a woman makes over the course of her pregnancy greatly impact the health and future of both herself and her baby.
For over 20 years, Step by Step has provided counseling, support, education and assistance to women in need, because we believe that mothers have the power to dramatically change and empower our families and communities. They are growing our next generation of families, and we want to help them be successful and thrive.
We come alongside low income and at-risk pregnant women to support and encourage them, providing relationship-based care, programs and resources to help them provide a safe and healthy home for their children.
Step By Step serves women ranging in age from 14-45, with the majority of clients being between the ages of 18 and 25. Our clients exist on an income at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. We have grown from serving 100 women in our first year to over 1,200 moms and their families, annually.
Mission and vision
Our mission is to transform the lives of at-risk pregnant women so they will deliver a healthy baby, embrace positive parenting and establish a safe home.
Our vision is to help every pregnant woman to see her pregnancy as a catalyst for positive change. By building on her strengths, she will: choose health, see hope for her future and give back to her family and community.
Our moms often come from difficult backgrounds and circumstances. More often than not, they do not know what a healthy and positive family looks like let alone how to cultivate one on their own. We are working to break that cycle. Our moms want what is best for their children, and they want to be good mothers who raise strong and health families. But they can not do it on their own. They need encouragement, safe and healthy relationships, someone they can come to their own. They need encouragement, safe and healthy relationships, someone they can come to when they are feeling pressure or need help or have a question, a community of caring people that will walk alongside them and help them put their best foot forward.
Our dedicated team of registered nurses, licensed counselors and dietitians provide professional in-home visits. During these visits, they create a plan of care that matches the needs of each individual woman and the specific barriers and risks they face during their pregnancy. They encourage every positive step taken, towards having a healthy baby and establishing a safe and healthy home.
Beyond simple support programs
Unlike other maternity support programs in our community, we go beyond monitoring the pregnancy, by offering a number of opportunities and resources to encourage and help our mom succeed. Our maternity support programs include:
- Life skills classes in areas such as parenting, finances, cooking and nutrition, housekeeping and organization, health and fitness and breastfeeding.
- Community connections and events such as summer family BBQ’s, Christmas parties, community baby showers, free yard sales, 5k family walkathon and more.
- Vital needs such as diapers, clothing, formula and food baskets.
- Homelessness and Housing Prevention: After long recognizing the need to provide housing for some of our most vulnerable clients, Step By Step, started a transitional housing and homelessness prevention program, in 2009. We offered housing for single moms for up to two years, as they worked towards achieving goals of education and/or employment. Our housing program gave them a safe place to stay. While they focused on their health, their child and worked towards goals of self-sustainability. Today, our housing program focuses on homelessness prevention. We partner with mothers who are working to secure safe housing, particularly those who are victims of domestic violence, young moms and homeless pregnant women, who live in Pierce County, who are at risk of becoming homeless, to help them maintain stable housing.
- Scholarships available for education and employment can be tickets out of poverty. Step By Step has established annual scholarship opportunities to help deserving clients move close to accomplishing their dreams.
We believe that every child deserves a healthy start in life and the ability to pursue their dreams. Healthy moms, babies and families are the foundation of strong neighborhoods and communities.
Many of the mothers we serve have made tremendous sacrifices and worked tirelessly to break out of the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect that they experienced. Everyday, we help these women fight to provide a better future — one mom, one baby and one healthy step at a time.
For more information on Step By Step's mission, programs or services you can visit them here: stepbystepfamily.org