By STEPHANIE HODGIN
Indiana Governor’s Office
INDIANAPOLIS — Monday, Oct. 12, Governor Mike Pence announced a statewide contract with Real Alternatives, a nonprofit, charitable organization that partners with local service providers to offer free pregnancy and parenting services like counseling support for women during pregnancy through 12 months after birth and referral services to other social services organizations. The contract is with the Indiana State Department of Health and runs through Sept. 30, 2016.
“After seeing the success of the Real Alternatives pilot program in northern Indiana, the importance of expanding the contract statewide became clear,” Pence said. “Today’s announcement marks an important step for the health of Hoosier women and families in Indiana and this additional funding will ensure important organizations across our state can continue supporting those in need.”
The services include counseling for breastfeeding, childcare, depression, drug abuse, grief, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and fetal development. Examples of referral services include housing, legal, medical health and mental health.
In October, 2014, ISDH contracted with Real Alternatives to offer parenting and pregnancy support services in northern Indiana. The pilot program was allotted $1 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding for one year. Over the past year, the Real Alternatives pilot program served 8,452 clients with support services through 16,839 visits. The new statewide contract allocates $3.5 million in TANF dollars to expand services to all Hoosiers. This funding comes from existing TANF dollars distributed to Indiana and does not cut any services or programs.