She’s already raised two children of her own, but that hasn’t stopped Elaine Santos, an in-patient case manager at NorthBay Medical Center, from wanting to pass her years of parenting experience on to the next generation of mothers. Elaine is a “mentor mom” for the Children’s Nurturing Project in Fairfield. She recently completed hours of training so that she could be certified to mentor a young, “at risk” mother, guiding the young woman from pregnancy through birth.
“We’re here to serve as a role model for these women who may not have anyone else they can rely on or trust,” Elaine explains. These women may be first-time parents, may have no or little family support, or may have or had drug or alcohol issues.
What does a mentor mom do? Whatever is necessary to provide support, Elaine says. “We make sure they get to their doctor’s appointments, or we might help them deal with special needs. The goal is to help these young women do the right thing for themselves and for their babies.”
The volunteer work is a perfect fit for Elaine. “I’ve been a pediatric nurse for a long time. I love babies and children and have raised two of my own. If I can help somebody at a time like this, maybe it will be enough to help them turn the corner.”