The HYMS Program
is a voucher system to help pregnant or parenting teens stay in
by purchasing small items needed for daily living.
1. As the executive committee sets program guidelines, create wide flexibility within your program. The teacher knows each student and their home situation. Allow the teacher to respond to the student's crisis without being concerned that every decision will need to be defended at the executive committee meetings. For example, if the teacher needs to purchase an item not sold by one of the participating program merchants, there should be enough freedom within the program to enable the teacher to find an alternative merchant or service that will provide the item and will invoice the program's account. The executive committee should delegate the power to the teacher to make any decision that would appropriately respond to the needs of the student.
2. The larger churches within the community should be considered first when selecting a fiscal agent. They are more likely to have already established accounts with local merchants. They also represent respectable financial responsibility in the community. If a church cannot be identified, any non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status could serve as the fiscal agent. Their size and accountability should be considered.
3. When forming an executive committee of the teacher, school administrator, and a church or a nonprofit organization officer, try to avoid letting them feel they must approve or have a policy for every situation. The students will best be served if the program has broad guidelines.
4. Every effort should be made to keep all the decisions and purchases confidential. Students are extremely sensitive about their needs, and may not use the program if they feel they will be talked about in the community. All reports and evaluations should be carefully written to avoid any identifiable reference to a specific student or known situation.
5. Fund-raising presentations for the HYMS Program should include factual data to show the funds are carefully handled and selected anecdotal examples of how the program has helped students. Because the program depends on donations, presentations need to be ongoing. The executive committee needs to plan for presentations. The HYMS Program will only need $200-$300 a year. One or two presentations may be all that is needed to raise the funds.
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