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UPLIFTING PARENTS Program (Program UP)

The Uplifting Parents Program (Program UP) was created to empower single parent families by providing resources to support their advancement in education. The goal is to assist lower-income single parents to acquire the education needed to become financially sustainable, and thus provide stability and opportunity for their children. Catholic Social Services (CSS) works with thirty coalition partner agencies in the community to develop the program. Some of the program components are:

  • Scholarship funds/stipends
  • Program evaluation
  • Mentoring & support services
  • Parenting classes
  • Financial counseling & classes
  • Group activities with other participants
  • PEER UP Advisory Council

Mission

To uplift parents to achieve success in providing stability and greater opportunity for their family.

Vision

To empower single parents to achieve greater financial and socioemotional stability for their families by assisting parents in advancing their education and careers by providing mentoring services, community resources, and scholarship funding.

Mentoring Services are the Heart of the Program

UP participants are matched with an Uplifting Parents Mentor from Catholic Social Services. The mentor establishes a close relationship with the participant to provide holistic support as they navigate completing their college degree. A major task for the mentor is to help anticipate and intercept potential crises that could derail the participant’s success. The mentor is there for the UP participants through “thick and thin;” it’s the heart of the program and the mentoring services provide the wraparound services that will assist that participant in achieving success.

Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunity Partnership

Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is implementing a randomized control study on Program UP. There are more applicants to Program UP than the program can serve, and we want everyone eligible to have a fair chance of being part of the program, so a lottery will be conducted to determine which eligible applicants receive Program UP services. Those not chosen for a spot in Program UP will receive referrals to other community agencies. The purpose of this research is to: 1) Create evidence based results that could be used to inform policy makers, and 2) Create a standardized process so the program can be replicated in other locations.  For more information about LEO please visit their website at: https://leo.nd.edu/

Vucurevich Foundation Partnership

The John T. Vucurevich Foundation (JTVF) has partnered with Catholic Social Services to provide additional funding for the Uplifting Parents Program. The Uplifting Parents Program’s approach with single parents and their children is a great example of the JTVF cradle to career continuum of success funding strategy. Their generous contribution has helped the significant expansion and success of Program UP!

Uplifting Parents Program on Real Presence Radio

CSS staffers talked about the Uplifting Parents Program on Real Presence Radio. You can find the podcast here – Jan 30 Hr.1: https://yourcatholicradiostation.com/real-presence-live-podcasts

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