Care Net Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes changes name to Family Hope Center but retains its vision to help others
By Pat Shea
Family Hope Center of Geneva, New York, formerly known as the Care Net Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes for the past 14 years, is celebrating not only its first year with a new name, but it’s continued focus on those in need.
“Our previous name was just too long,” stated Doreen Teed, executive director for the center. “The Pregnancy Care Center sounded like it was exclusively for women, but we do so much more here and not just for women, but for men and all members of the family too. I approached the board to change [the center’s] name and just expected they would simply shorten it, but instead, they decided to change it completely. In fact, it was our clients who came up with our new name, and in October 2016, we became the Family Hope Center, which encompasses more of who we are and what we do.”
As the Family Hope Center, who they are and what they do has tremendous impact in the communities they serve. The center, located at 551 Exchange Street in Geneva, New York, still offers free services such as a ultrasound testing for women between seven and 14 weeks pregnant, free pregnancy tests, and option education and support for those considering abortion, although the center does not perform or offer abortion referrals. But that’s not all that Family Hope Center is about. Clients who come through the doors can find a bevy of education and classes available for new and expecting parents, including informative workshops on labor and delivery, motherhood, fatherhood, parent education, caring for newborns and breastfeeding, as well as for classes for established families on step-parenting, creating boundaries for children (and adults), and a newly formed group, known as Courageous Beauty, aimed at preteen girls ages 11-15, to help them navigate key issues in their lives today such as questions about dating, parenting and peer pressure.
“This new group, Courageous Beauty, was started by a young staff member, Kylie Wolfe, who is 22. We are so excited she is working with us and that God put it on her heart to reach out and help young women deal with the all the pressures in the world today and realize who they are in God,” stated Teed.
The new group currently has six full time members, but young girls between the ages of 11-14 come and go within the group as topics change. “I know this group is going to grow. Girls find out about it through word-of-mouth and we are also reaching out to the schools,” explained Teed. “This group has an open forum and they discuss different topics such as self-worth or the influence of music in their lives, but recently, Kylie put up a suggestion box and the girls put in their concerns such as how do they deal with ‘snotty girls in school’ or parents or to deal with talking about topics such as dealing with ‘snotty girls’ at schools, or with their parents, or concerns about boy-girl relationships. The boy-girl questions come up a lot,” stated Teed.
What makes this group especially exciting is the opportunity for Teed and her staff to reach out and educate young girls on what a healthy relationship is and what this can mean to their lives as they grow older. “We want to instill the message of self-worth now, so we don’t end up seeing these same girls later on in a more serious situation down the road,” explained Teed.
Along with the new classes and groups, Teed is excited with changes in the center’s hours of operation. “We’re now open five days a week from 10-4 and we look forward to opening even later in the future on Monday nights.”
Despite an impressive array of classes and services, Teed works only with a staff of four, and a volunteer crew of eight. “I am proud of this team and the work we are doing,” stated Teed. “We have a variety of ages and personalities, but everyone plays an important role. It took a while, but we really function together as a team and we really make a difference out there.”
Working at the center is a commitment for both staff and volunteers. Each Family Hope Center staff member and volunteer goes through regular training courses so they can be at the ready to help clients.
“Our team goes through training once a month and also does training within the community,” explained Teed. “It’s important that in order to move forward, we stay educated and understand the challenges that the community is facing around us. That’s the best way we can help now, as well as in the future.”