What are Pregnancy Centers and how do they serve Ohio?
- Ohio has nearly 200 pregnancy help centers and maternity homes that assist women in crisis pregnancies. They exist in rural, suburban and urban communities alike.
- These centers serve primarily low income women at or below the federal poverty level.
- Ohio pregnancy centers outnumber abortion facilities 18:1.
- Many times, these centers are the last option for women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.
- They provide parenting classes, referrals for access to prenatal care and other medical and mental health or addiction support services, as well as material needs through the first year of their babies' lives.
- Ohio consistently falls near the bottom of state rankings of infant mortality rates. Pregnancy centers are critical community staples that help combat infant mortality.
What is the Parenting and Pregnancy Program?
- The Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Program (ORC Section 5101.804) is created through the state operating budget, and funded through discretionary TANF dollars.
- In state fiscal years 2020 and 2021, there is $7.5 million available for this program
- The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services uses a competitive RFP (request for proposals) process to award this funding to pregnancy centers, social service organizations, and ministries that apply for these funds
- This funding allows pregnancy centers across the state to increase their capacity to provide comprehensive counseling, mentoring, and support throughout the entire pregnancy and for up to one year following the birth of the baby.
Who is eligible for funding through the Parenting and Pregnancy Program?
Organizations that provide services for pregnant women (and parents or other relatives caring for children twelve months of age or younger) that both promote childbirth, parenting, and alternatives to abortion, and meet one or more of the four purposes of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant are eligible to apply.
The four purposes of TANF are:
- Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives
- End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage
- Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies
- Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families
Additionally, Ohio law requires that any applicant meets all of the following conditions:
- Is a private, not-for-profit entity
- Is an entity whose primary purpose is to promote childbirth, rather than abortion, through counseling and other services, including parenting and adoption support
- Provides services to pregnant women and parents or other relatives caring for children twelve months of age or younger, including clothing, counseling, diapers, food, furniture, health care, parenting classes, postpartum recovery, shelter, and any other supportive services, programs, or related outreach
- Does not charge pregnant women and parents or other relatives caring for children twelve months of age or younger a fee for any services received
- Is not involved in or associated with any abortion activities, including providing abortion counseling or referrals to abortion clinics, performing abortion-related medical procedures, or engaging in pro-abortion advertising
- Does not discriminate in its provision of services on the basis of race, religion, color, age, marital status, national origin, disability, or gender
Where can I apply?
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has released the RFP and you can find it here.