AHEART's Mission Statement


Our mission at AHEART is to provide emergency assistance to infants in crisis, prevent out of home placement, decrease infant mortalities by providing essential infant items, and partnering with community members and organizations to advocate for the lives of infants and their families.

 

Our Vision

Established in 2008  

Established in 2008

 

To decrease the number of infant mortalities and homeless families in the South Jersey and St. Michaels, Arizona (Navajo Reservation) areas.  We also advocate to decrease the number of African American and Native American children in the Foster Care system.

 

Program Overview

AHEART is open to families with infants and children under age 2 that are in serious need. Participants must bring in their child and a referral to receive assistance. We provide educational classes on a variety of topics because our aim is to build our participants up and not just be a family service agency that gives “hand outs”.

AHEART’s main focus is to mentor and support teen mothers. Often these young girls find themselves homeless and in desperate need of daily support. Many times infants fall subject to government welfare programs due to long waiting lists, waiting periods between birth and assistance, and the lack of providing basic baby supplies.

Our future goals are to provide housing for homeless, pregnant participants and single mothers of children 2 and younger.  There we will provide young and lower income mothers the type of support that was once available solely to middle and upper-class women who hired private doulas. AHEART plans to provide doulas at the 7th month of pregnancy and continue to provide support until the baby is two to three months old. All expectant teens will also be paired with an AHEART mentor, who works with them until they turn 21 or their child turns 2. Our educational goals are to teach the parenting skills that are necessary in raising healthy, happy, and well cared for children.

 

Our Story

AHEART was initiated in response to court observations that revealed the sad cases of infants in need of permanent homes. Some babies were not developing or thriving normally in the hospital environment that they were “signed over to.”

To help correct this problem, the Special Hearts Boutique was created to locate and support the families and/or individuals who step up to care for these special babies. This program was led by Robbin Hargrove, a former Case Supervisor of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. She thought of how many babies were suffering from having the lack of a family connection.