Shawntaia was born to a teen mother, and her father was incarcerated for most of her life. She spent time in foster care and group homes, experiencing a difficult childhood and significant trauma. When she first became pregnant, she was excited to become a mother. Soon after the birth of her daughter, however, she suffered from post-partum depression and quickly realized that she did not have the resources or support she needed to manage as a single mother.
“When I first met Shawntaia, it was clear that she was a young woman in need of a lot of assistance. As someone who had grown up in ‘the system’, she wasn’t sure she wanted or needed help from me or anyone else from CHiP, ” said Rosemary, her CHiP family support worker.
It took time, patience, and persistence for Shawntaia to develop a trusting relationship with Rosemary and the CHiP team where meaningful work could happen. She was committed to giving her child the best start in life with a healthy, loving mother, so Shawntaia actively engaged in home visits, learning everything she could about child development. She took advantage of other supportive services, including counseling to help her better deal with her anxiety and the effects of past trauma.
Shawntaia is now married to Edgar “Ed” Jones, and they have welcomed two more daughters. In addition, they have been awarded custody of a family member’s two children who were at risk of being placed in foster care. Ed and Shawntaia both work full-time, are active in their church, and provide a safe, loving, and nurturing home environment for these (5!) children. They work well together as a team and take pride in their accomplishments and in their family.
Rosemary says, “Shawntaia has grown from being someone who didn’t want to admit that she needed help to someone who others look to for assistance. Knowing the numerous challenges she has faced, I couldn’t be prouder of the woman and mother Shawntaia is today.”