Posted: Dec 18, 2013 5:41 PM by Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Dec 18, 2013 5:41 PM
BATON ROUGE - If new parents don't participate in parenting classes, they may have to face some consequences.
Representative Regina Barrow and the Family Preservation Study Group are trying to make it mandatory for pregnant women 20 years old and under to take parenting classes. Barrow says the younger generation does not have the support they need to raise a child.
"You don't have the village to assist you in helping you raise a child. It's changed drastically in who's there to help," said Barrow.
If new parents don't go to classes, Barrow says they should face penalties. They also want new parents who receive government assistance to attend these classes.
"If you are targeting people who need assistance, do you actually penalize them with their assistance or if they are individuals who are not receiving assistance and they are a teen parent, do you fine them?" asked Barrow.
"I was shocked to see we already have some statutes that require parenting classes and talking to so many entities that provide it, and a lot of individuals are not showing up. So I want to know why that is happening, and I want to drill down on that a little further to maybe make that a little bit better."
Barrow is working with multiple family aid groups to develop a new piece of legislation. She and the group are looking at other states to see how they enforce these programs.