After a yearlong pilot program in the northern part of Indiana served over 8,400 clients with help through local pregnancy centers, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced a statewide contract with Real Alternatives through the coming year.
Indiana marks the third state that has contracted with Real Alternatives, a pregnancy and support services program that directs a portion of states’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to local life-affirming centers.
According to a release from Gov. Pence’s office Monday afternoon, funds are earmarked for “counseling for breastfeeding, childcare, depression, drug abuse, grief, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, fetal development, and more.”
“Today’s announcement marks an important step for the health of Hoosier women and families in Indiana, and this additional funding will ensure important organizations across our state can continue supporting those in need,” Gov. Pence said in the press release announcing the new contract.
Over the past year, Indiana’s health department contracted with Real Alternatives to fund 16 centers in northern Indiana. The results, as Gov. Pence pointed out, were unmistakably positive, with the state’s $1 million commitment resulting in over 8,400 clients served over the course of close to 17,000 client visits.
The new contract calls for state funding to the tune of $3.5 million in TANF dollars distributed to local pregnancy centers through Real Alternatives.
“We are very excited to hear of Governor Pence’s decision to expand our life-affirming program throughout the State of Indiana,” Kevin I. Bagatta, Esq., president and CEO of Real Alternatives, said. “Real Alternatives-funded service providers reach out to help women in unexpected pregnancies who many time are alone and feel hopeless. Now that great work that has been started can be expanded.”
As is the case with its existing contracts in Michigan and Pennsylvania—where Bagatta started the program in 1997—centers make use of the funding by billing the state for specified services already covered by TANF.
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Real Alternatives has served over 250,000 women for a total of 1.3 million client visits at 95 centers in Pennsylvania over the life of the program.
In Michigan, where Real Alternatives has been administering funds to 17 centers in the southern region of the state since late 2013, over 1,700 women have been served for a total of 4,846 visits.
“With these taxpayer resources, service providers can empower even more women to choose life,” Bagatta said. “The support does not end after the birth of the baby. This comprehensive program also provides parenting support to ensure healthy outcomes for the women and her baby.”
Click here to find out more about Real Alternatives.