WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Parenting can bring the highest joys, and also the greatest challenges.
Several organizations in eastern Iowa join together for something called "Partners for Parenting" which helps support moms and dads, regardless of economic status.
Meet one single mother who says the partnership is making a positive future possible.
New mother Tierra Ellis loves her baby.
"This is my angel," she said. "She'll be 2 months on the 19th."
But 21-year-old Ellis knows parenting is full of joys and challenges, so she receives guidance from family support worker Erica Sanders.
"We bring handouts and talk about a child's development, tummy time and other activities," Sanders said.
Sanders works in conjunction with partners for parenting families. Which seeks to support and teach parents positive parenting skills from the beginning.
"When we have families where parents are working full time, focusing on getting dinner on the table, a gallon of milk in the fridge, tank of gas in the car, paying the rent or mortgage. Positive parenting is not in the forefront," Adriane Carlson said.
Family and Children's Council Assistant Director Adriane Carlson says of the 1,600 babies born each year in Black Hawk County, their organization tries to screen each mother within 72 hours of giving birth to see if they would like support.
"Some parents don't feel bonding right away. Some are good workers or have a master's degree, but don't know how to parent. We can provide them support so they can be at the forefront and get their child ready for school," she said.
Ellis says having a family support worker has helped her by having someone to listen, help set goals, and learn how best to foster little Zamaria's growth.
"Learning words, ABCs, she is starting to sponge it in."
"Once I get my degree in nursing, she'll be a very smart, active little girl, and well rounded."
As Ellis works on important goals for herself and her daughter, she says her family support worker has helped her enjoy the journey.
"She is my all, everything, I love her so much," she said.
Adriane Carlson says they also help match parents with the resources they need in crisis - whether that is a gallon of milk or rental assistance.
To get more information on Partners for Parents, click here. Or call 319-234-7600.
Online Anchor: Sunny Layne