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Any organization with a long history is likely to find pieces of its past that are out of step with current knowledge, experience, and values (“Wayward Past,” 3/19). But history should be presented in context. Society has changed its views on single pregnancy and adoption. Single pregnant women and unmarried mothers do not experience the extreme stigma and prejudice they faced prior to the 1960s, and women have greater access to contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Our conversations with women who were at the Florence Crittenton Home include positive experiences and reflections. Many of them see the home in the context of the times. They were in a difficult situation with no easy answers. For organizations to survive through history, they can and should change. Just as the Florence Crittenton Home was a response to its time, Florence Crittenton Services’ current efforts have evolved to meet the needs of young women today. We continue our over-100-year history of working with pregnant women and young mothers through a strong prenatal education program and support groups for young parents. We’ve also prioritized pregnancy prevention. More than 400 girls in the D.C. metro area participate weekly in our SNEAKERS program, which provides life skills and comprehensive sexuality education, mostly at the middle school level. We strive to help girls and young mothers feel good about themselves, grow into sexually healthy adults, and gain the skills they need to make responsible decisions. The times have changed, and so has Florence Crittenton Services. I am proud to be volunteering for an organization that believes young parents can be successful and that demonstrates daily its commitment to give adolescent girls the information and skills they need to excel today and in the future.
Chair, Board of Directors
Florence Crittenton Services
of Greater Washington