New Lincoln campus welcomes Teen Parent Childcare Center


Abby Yium

Development plans for Lincoln’s new Teen Parent Childcare Center. This center will provide a place for childcare as well as resources for teen parents.

Lincoln’s new building is nearing completion, and with it a Teen Parent Childcare Center.

The center, located on the new campus, will be one of five Teen Parent Childcare Centers throughout the district. The other four are located at Grant, Franklin, McDaniel and Roosevelt High Schools. The new center on the Lincoln campus will be a stand-alone building complete with a playground, a secure entrance and a place for parents to drop their kids off for care during the school day. 

“The goal is for each high school to have childcare services that impart a sense of caring, safety and security for our student parents,” said Siri Michel-Midelfort, a part-time social worker for Teen Parent Services at Lincoln. 

The Teen Parent Services Program through Portland Public Schools (PPS) provides care for children ages 0-3, as well as resources for teen parents who are enrolled in an education program in the district and working towards graduating from high school.

“The mission of the Teen Parent Services Program is to provide teen parents with support and resources that help them navigate their lives as parents and as students,” Michel-Midelfort said. 

Cheryl James, the Program Director for PPS Teen Parent Services Program, emphasizes the inclusiveness of the program. 

“The Teen Parent Services Program works with any/all students who are pregnant and/or parenting, within district boundaries,” she said. “PPS student parents receive direct support until they age out of the public school system at age 21.” 

The PPS Teen Parent Services Program is one of the many programs protected under Oregon state law. 

“Oregon state statutes ensure that policy is in place to protect special ‘classes’ of students such as houseless students, English language learners, special education students, teen parents, etc. Parenting programs are just an element of that support,” James said. 

Vanessa Salceda, a 2016 graduate of Franklin High School, utilized Teen Parent Services her junior year of high school. She found a community within this program. 

“Being able to be around other teen parents was helpful because I couldn’t talk to my friends back then about the things I was going through because they weren’t pregnant. It was just a different experience, so it was good to be around other people like me,” Salceda said. 

Teen Parent Services didn’t just provide child care for Salceda, but constantly supported her with her education journey. 

“They helped me when I was trying to get into Portland Community College. They also helped me with Future Connect, a scholarship and support program for first-generation and low-income students,” Salceda said. 

Teen Parent Services doesn’t just help teen mothers, but provides resources for teen fathers as well. 

“We have a Teen Father Mentor who regularly meets with teen fathers to address the needs specific to them,” James said. “The Teen Father Mentor also runs a community-based organization called SQUIRES. He also organizes a Young Parent Fair every spring that hosts a number of resources for young parents.” 

Since teen parents are at risk of not completing high school, this program is crucial for many students within PPS. 

“The Teen Parent Services Program supports student parents who otherwise would struggle to graduate from high school. Mastering the responsibilities of parenting with those of being a student, can be overwhelming,” Michel-Midelfort said. “Without the supports and services of Teen Parent Programs, the likelihood of a teen parent dropping out of school increase[s] by at least 50%, or even higher in some cases.” 

Salceda agrees that the Teen Parent Services Program was critical in her journey. 

“I would have dropped out if it wasn’t for the program,” she said. 

If you would like to get in contact or learn more about these services, visit the Teen Parent Services website