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SPRINGFIELD – Understanding the struggles first-time parents face, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. is leading a measure to provide them with more support and resources.

“Being a first-time parent brings a unique set of challenges and stressors,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Mentorship helps people understand what they are capable of by opening up parts of them they may have never known existed.”

Sims’ measure would assist first-time parents in finding employment, donation centers and information to help them navigate parenthood through the First Time Parent Mentorship Program. Local nonprofits would host the program in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services and provide at least 10 hours of trauma-informed tutoring and mentoring to first-time parents.  

According to the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, nearly half of new parents don’t feel they have the support they need. The mentorship program would bridge this gap, giving first-time parents more resources and a place to turn to for help.

“When my wife and I had our first daughter, we consistently found ourselves asking questions and wondering if we were doing the right things to set her on the path to success,” said Sims. “While we had a strong support system of friends and family to help us navigate this difficult yet exciting time, not everyone is that lucky.”

Senate Bill 2536 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday.