Teenage mothers are more likely to experience post natal depression due to isolation and financial stress, and are often unable to continue with school leading to future unemployment or insecure low paying positions.
Becoming a teenage parent is hard enough, but many of the mums that ask for our help are juggling this important role with a number of other difficult circumstances such as abusive families, domestic violence and homelessness.
Last year 196 teenage mothers contacted us for help. Unfortunately, due to funding we were only able to assist 37 of those that reached out. Without assistance these young parents might become homeless and lose custody of their child to the government.
What We Do:
We help these young mothers reach their potential so that they can provide a positive future for their infant. Through a program called The NEST we provide young mothers and their babies with supported accommodation for up to 18 months and during this time we work with them to set goals and access education or employment. We also run an outreach program for the many teenage parents who we’re not able to house.
All our young mothers work with a staff member to address their underlying issues and are taught vital parenting and life skills. Through regular health checks, immunisations and play interaction we make sure that our NEST babies grow up happy and healthy, reaching all the relevant child developmental milestones. We also help mums build relationships with other young mums and the community health nurse to ensure they have a support network after they leave the program.
Ultimately, with your help, we hope that young mothers will be able to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
Kayla was 18 when she found out she was pregnant. After announcing her pregnancy to her parents she was forced to leave home. As she didn't have the support of the baby’s father, she lived with friends for a while but was not able to stay with them for long as they were getting evicted from their property. Kayla was desperate and concerned that if she couldn't find somewhere suitable to stay she would be forced out onto the streets and her baby would be removed from her custody.
She contacted the NEST and we were able to place her in a home a few days after giving birth to gorgeous baby April. Here they developed a great mother/daughter bond and Kayla was taught parenting and independent living skills like how to breastfeed, connect utilities and save enough money to secure a future rental.
Kayla told us how happy she was to not have to depend on anyone. She knew where her home was and no longer went to bed at night worrying about waking up homeless: “I feel it has provided me with security. I know I always have someone there to call for support. I feel stable & safe at my NEST property, I feel proud to have a safe environment for my baby & that we can live on our own.”
How you can help:
By making a donation you will ensure that we can continue to help displaced young mothers like Kayla find accommodation, provide for their child, and develop the skills required to be a great mum.
Please see our impact levels to the right for examples of how your generosity can change the life of a young mum and her bub. All donors will receive a thank you and as a token of our appreciation anyone who donates $250 or more will receive a unique handprint painting from a child that has benefited from your gift.
Thank you from Erica & the team at Youth Futures.