Young parents

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Young parents in the AIFS library catalogue

Minding the Baby home-visiting programme for vulnerable young mothers: results of a randomised controlled trial in the UK

Longhi E
London : NSPCC, 2019.
Minding the Baby is a preventative home-visiting parenting programme for first-time mothers between the ages of 14 and 25. Following on from promising findings in the United States, this report evaluates the programme in the United Kingdom. A randomised controlled trial was undertaken with 148 young mothers from Glasgow, Sheffield and York, with participants assessed from pregnancy to two years after birth. The programme aims to promote parental reflective functioning and combines practice elements from models of nurse home-visiting and mother-child psychotherapy. A pair of social workers and nurse practitioners work together with each young mother to promote sensitive caregiving and secure mother-child attachment, as well as maternal and child health and wellbeing. The study found that the programme did not improve maternal sensitivity, though some evidence was found for positive impacts on other outcomes.

Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their children: an exploration of how technology could catalyse system transformation

Cook K, Albury K, Savic M, Zirakbash F, Al Mahmud A, Ahmed A, Martin J, Fordyce R, Mackelprang J, Bano M and Schneider J
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2019.
This report looks into the opportunities for technology to enhance community services, with a study of vulnerable young parents at the Family Life community service in suburban Victoria. Drawing on interviews with twelve staff and ten clients, it explores how social service providers could use technology to support clients, manage their organisational obligations, and access professional resources as well as their clients' engagement with digital technology, use online support groups and parenting apps, and current barriers to access. The findings highlight the positive opportunities of technology but also variations in staff and clients' digital literacy and reliable internet access. The report concludes with recommendations for building clients' digital capacities, developing online peer support groups and in-house parenting apps, and assisting with Centrelink paperwork.

Teen parents: evidence brief

Scanlen A and Hooper C
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of the latest evidence on the issues facing teenage parents and how they can best be supported, to help inform policy and service design in New Zealand. Section One provides contextual information about teen pregnancy and parenting in New Zealand, including protective and risk factors. Section Two reviews the local and overseas research on effective support interventions, and the effectiveness of models, services, and interventions currently in place in New Zealand for teenage parents, their children, and their families and whanau. Although the teen birth rate in New Zealand is declining it remains high compared to other countries, with these parents facing greater challenges and risks for themselves and their children. The report concludes with recommendations for policy, community attitudes, and intervention.

Support for new parents and babies in New South Wales

Conolly K
Sydney, N.S.W. : Parliament of New South Wales, 2018.
This inquiry investigates current services and supports for parents of infants in New South Wales, and how they can be improved. Research highlights the benefits and cost-effectiveness of early intervention and support for parents during their children's early years, so this inquiry was established to examine the adequacy of current services and structures, especially for vulnerable parents, and consider the changes to current services and structures that could improve physical health, mental health and child protection outcomes, models of support provided in other jurisdictions, and the opportunities for new and emerging technology to enhance support. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry, beginning with the need for better coordinated and integrated universal child and family health services. Topics include home visiting services and services targeting fathers, perinatal mental health, parents with disability, Indigenous families, parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and young homeless parents.

Homelessness pathways for Australian single mothers and their children : an exploratory study.

Warburton W, Whittaker E and Papic M
Societies v. 8 no. 1 2018: Article 16
This article explores pathways into and out of homelessness for single mothers in Australia and their specific service needs. It draws on interviews with 14 mothers and 4 service providers from two Australian states. Particular risk factors include domestic violence, intergenerational homelessness, and limited housing options, whereas protective factors include immediate engagement with welfare agencies and, for younger mothers, personalised parenting and life skills support.

Young parents and their children.

National Children's Commissioner (Australia)
Children's rights report 2017. Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018: 84-179
In 2017, the National Children's Commissioner reviewed the special issue of the rights and needs of young parents and their children, with a view to identifying the critical supports needed to improve their personal, educational and economic outcomes. This chapter presents the findings and recommendations of this study. It highlights young parenthood as a human rights issue, and presents insights from the Australian research literature and data, submissions from agencies and experts, and consultations with young parents. Topics include: Locality and demographics of young parents in Australia; Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents; Young parents in the justice system; Health outcomes for teenage parents and their babies; Welfare dependence and long term socio-economic disadvantage; Relationship status of teenage mothers; Education and employment; Housing insecurity; Access to health care, sexual health and abortion services; Domestic and partner violence and teenage pregnancy; Pathways to parenthood; Mortality trends; Premature births and low birth weight; Concerns raised with Kids Helpline about teenage pregnancy and parenthood; Income support payment data; National education data; Risk factors of young parenthood; Stigma, prejudice and discrimination; Child protection and family and domestic violence; Access to early childhood education and care services; Health, sexual health and contraception education; Transport and driver's licences; Education, employment and economic security; Cultural safety; Young fathers; Service disconnection; Responsiveness of services; and Goals and aspirations. Examples are included of interventions and programs. Overall, the realisation of young parents' and their children's rights requires an integrated approach across a range of government initiatives, and the Commissioner recommends that the Minister for Social Services take a lead role in advancing a coordinated cross-portfolio policy approach.

Talking with young people about the National Framework: outcomes of conversations with young people about the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children

Roy A
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Social Services, 2017.
The National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020 is a long-term approach to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and reducing levels of child abuse and neglect. The Framework sets out 6 key outcomes and action plans are produced every 3 years to provide detail on strategies for each period. This report looks at the views of young people on the strategies set out in the Third Action Plan. These strategies are: Early intervention with a focus on the early years, particularly the first 1000 days for a child; Helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive into adulthood; and Organisations responding better to children and young people to keep them safe. Consultations were held with 323 young people from across Australia, including young parents and young expectant parents and young people who had left or who were about to leave out of home care.

Young, homeless, and raising a child: a review of existing approaches to addressing the needs of young Australian parents experiencing homelessness

Kuskoff E and Mallett S
Indooroopilly, Qld : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2016.
While young parents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are often highly motivated to improve their circumstances, they often face considerable obstacles. This paper reviews the types and effectiveness of support services available to these young people in Australia. Program types include the Outreach Model, the Crisis Model, the Supported Accommodation Model, the Intensive Support Model, the Foyer Model, and the Coordination Model.

Efficacy of infant simulator programmes to prevent teenage pregnancy : a school-based cluster randomised controlled trial in Western Australia.

Brinkman S, Johnson S, Codde J, Hart M, Straton J, Mittinty M and Silburn S
Lancet v. 388 no. 10057 5 Nov 2016: 2264-2271
Infant simulator-based programmes are widely used to prevent teenage pregnancy, but there is little evidence on their effectiveness. This article examines the school-based Virtual Infant Parenting (VIP) programme on young women's pregnancy outcomes in Western Australia. Pregnancy and abortion rates were compared for girls who had undertaken the programme between 2003 and 2006 - when they were aged 13?15 years - and a comparison group, with both groups followed to age 20. Of concern, the findings indicate that the intervention group had a higher overall pregnancy risk than the control group.

Parenting programs in the ACT

Butler K
Canberra, A.C.T. : Families ACT, 2015.
This report documents the state of evidence-based parenting programs in the Australian Capital Territory, including the mix of universal and targeted programs, service gaps, hard to reach groups, funding, collaboration, and supporting evidence of effectiveness. A rapid literature review was also undertaken on parenting programs for groups of parents currently not well served in the territory: parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, parents of young people aged 12 to 18 years, and young parents aged 14 to 25 years. This report is intended to inform future policy and practice directions.

Young parenting: a new beginning.

ACT Health, National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development (Australia)
Canberra, A.C.T. : ACT Health, 2014.
This video resource aims to give young people an insight into the day-to-day realities - both rewarding and challenging - of being a parent. It features interviews with young parents in the Australian Capital Territory, who share their experiences on: mentally preparing for parenthood; housing and planning for the arrival; telling your parents; looking after your health; attachment and bonding; couple relationships and support; single parenting; infant care and sleep issues; and budgeting.

The experiences of mothers aged under 20: analysis of data from the Growing Up in Scotland study

Bradshaw P, Schofield L and Maynard L
Edinburgh : Scottish Government, 2014.
"The aim of this research was to use data from the Growing Up in Scotland study to explore the characteristics, circumstances and experiences of first-time mothers in Scotland aged under 20 at the time of the child's birth and examine how they compare with those of older mothers in two age groups - those aged 20 to 24 and those aged 25 or older. Understanding the extent to which the challenges that these young mothers face are different to those experienced by mothers aged 20 to 24 and 25 and above helps not only to justify the extra support that teenage mothers receive but also to explore whether some of this extra support might also benefit slightly older mothers. The findings from this report will be crucial in informing the development of the Scottish Government's teenage pregnancy and young parents strategy, due for publication in Spring 2015."--Introduction.

Unplanned but not unwanted? Teen pregnancy and parenthood among young people with refugee backgrounds.

McMichael C
Journal of Youth Studies v. 16 no. 5 2013: 663-678
This article explores how young refugee women in Victoria negotiate teen pregnancy and early motherhood and the challenges of settlement - such as education, housing and social support. African-born refugee women in Victoria have high rates of teen pregnancy, but - as the mothers in this longitudinal study reveal - though their pregnancies were not planned, they are not necessarily unwanted. This implications for policy and support also discussed.

Younger mothers: stigma and support

McArthur M and Barry E
Watson, ACT : Institute of Child Protection Studies, 2013.
This paper discusses the key policy and practice implications of a recent research study at the Institute of Child Protection Studies, on the experiences and aspirations of younger mothers. In that study, 35 young mothers (aged 25 or younger) discussed their experiences and perceptions of earlier motherhood, including challenges and stigma, and their hopes and aspirations for the future and sources of support.

'I am going to be a dad' : experiences and expectations of adolescent and young adult expectant fathers.

Wilkes L, Mannix J and Jackson D
Journal of Clinical Nursing v. 21 no. 1/2 Jan 2012: 180-188
This article explores the experiences of young men regarding impending and unplanned fatherhood, drawing on interviews with 7 expectant fathers aged 16-22 years. Though adolescent fatherhood is associated with multiple risk factors, young fathers also have a potentially vital role in the lives of their children and partners. The interviews reveal the mixed emotions and many concerns felt by the young men, and their reflections on the quality of the fathering they had received. The article discusses the findings and the implications for prenatal classes, nursing, and mentoring.

Lessons for improvement - working with young parents.

New South Wales. Dept. of Family and Community Services
Child deaths 2011 annual report : learning to improve services. Ashfield, NSW : Department of Family and Community Services, 2012: 35-54
The child deaths annual report series reviews the circumstances of the deaths of children and young people known to child protection services in New South Wales. This feature article in the 2011 annual report looks at the significant vulnerabilities faced by young parent families. Sections include: deaths of children with young parents 2006-11; characteristics of the children and young parents; key risk factors for young parent families; practice themes - working with young parents; the links between disadvantage and early parenthood; assessing risk in young parent families; the impact of early parenthood on young people and their children; engaging young parents to build support networks and parenting capacity; maintaining the focus on a child in a young parent family; and supporting young parents to maintain links with a child who has been removed.

What works for disadvantaged and adolescent parent programs: lessons from experimental evaluations of social programs and interventions for children

Chrisler A and Moore K
Washington, DC : Child Trends, 2012.
Statistics in the United States highlight the association between single parenthood and childhood poverty and the negative implications of teen and non-marital parenthood for children and parents. Therefore, it is important to identify evidence-based parenting programs that focus on the well-being of youth parents and their children. This Fact Sheet reviews the effectiveness of 20 parenting programs that are focused on enhancing parent development, educating disadvantaged and teenage mothers on effective parenting methods, or improving child outcomes.

What works to engage young parents into services? Findings from an appreciative inquiry workshop.

Taylor C, Mills A, Schmied V, Dahlen H, Shuiringa W and Hudson M
Contemporary Nurse v. 42 no. 2 Oct 2012 Special Issue, Advances in contemporary health care for vulnerable populations Advances in Contemporary Nursing 1832-9861: 258-271
Lack of engagement in parenting support programs by young parents has been identified previously in the literature. This paper reports an innovative strategy utilizing appreciative inquiry (AI) to involve service providers and young parents in identifying strategies to engage young parents in services and programs. A one-day workshop was held involving service/program staff and young mothers in three phases of AI: discovery, dreaming, and delivery. A variety of activities were used to gather data from participants: Small group discussion, creative 'art work' development, and notes. Results identified strategies that would promote and sustain young parents' engagement in services/ programs, such as supportive non-judgmental attitude of staff, having a 'one stop shop' for services, and meeting childcare and educational needs of parents. Through AI, factors were identified that promote and sustain engagement of young parents into parenting support programs, and the need to engage fathers was also recognized.

Strengths of Young Parents Project: literature review

Fletcher R and StGeorge J
Bella Vista, N.S.W. : Interrelate Family Centres, 2012
Men and women who become parents in their teenage years or early twenties face significant life development barriers. This literature review briefly summarises the issues facing young parents and the available research on adopting a strengths based perspective in support services working with this group.

Teenage pregnancy and parenting: an overview

New Zealand. Families Commission
Wellington N.Z. : Families Commission, 2011
This report responds to a Ministerial inquiry regarding teenage parenthood in New Zealand. It investigates the reasons behind high rates of teenage parenthood in specific regions of New Zealand and also what is needed to discourage second or repeat teenage pregnancies. It examines regional trends in teenage childbirth and motherhood and the different correlates in each area, and then suggests priority areas for preventing repeat teenage pregnancies and improving supports.

Young mothers' lived experiences prior to becoming pregnant in rural Victoria : a phenomenological study.

Roberts S, Graham M and Barter-Godfrey S
Australian Journal of Rural Health v. 19 no. 6 Dec 2011: 312-317
This article explores the lived experience of young women who became mothers during adolescence in rural Victoria. Four women were intereviewed on their life prior to becoming pregnant, with shared themes emerging of isolation, dissatisfaction, adversity, and transition. The article discusses these themes, and the young women's recommendations for community life and service delivery.

What's really going on? Parents' views of parent support in three Australian supported playgroups.

Jackson D
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood v. 36 no. 4 Dec 2011: 29-37
Supported playgroups are a dual-focus service model used widely in Australia to provide stimulating early childhood environments for children and support for their parents. This article discusses some of the findings from a recent qualitative doctoral study that explored three supported playgroups in western Sydney. In particular, it articulates what parents experienced as support in this context through the identification and discussion of eight categories of parent support: friendship and social network support; relational support; peer support; emotional support; parenting role support; information and resource support; 'circle of care' support; and multidisciplinary support.

Experiences and aspirations of younger mothers

Butler K, Winkworth G, McArthur M and Smyth J
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2010.
This report explores the experiences and aspirations of young mothers, with the aim of providing more supportive and responsive policy and services. It presents findings from a qualitative research 49 younger mothers, who were below the age of 25 when they had their first child and in receipt of Centrelink income support payments. Telephone interviews were conducted with 35 young mothers from disadvantaged areas in Australia including Alice Springs, Mount Druitt, Redfern, and an unidentified small coastal town. Focus groups were also conducted with 14 additional young mothers. The research explored the mothers' perceptions and experiences of early motherhood, their aspirations and perceptions of life choices before and after the birth of their child, their use and experiences of formal and informal supports, and how these supports could be improved.

Supporting young mums & bubs : practice, principles & program structure

Maree Fudge (& More) Pty Ltd, Karinya Young Womyn's Service Inc.
Kings Meadows, Tas. : Karinya Young Womyn's Service Inc., 2010
This report proposes a new service model to meet the needs of young pregnant women experiencing or at risk of homelessness. A research and development project was commissioned to review the evidence, consult with stakeholders, and develop a service model for Karinya Young Womyn's Service in Tasmania. This report presents the service model, discusses the service issues and evidence involved in its development, and details how Karinya can implement and manage the new program.

The impact of Sure Start Local programmes on five year olds and their families

Birkbeck College. National Evaluation of Sure Start, Great Britain. Dept. for Education
London : Dept. for Education, 2010.
"The ultimate goal of Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) was to enhance the life chances for young children growing up in disadvantaged neighbourhoods [in Great Britain]. Children in these communities are at risk of doing poorly at school, having trouble with peers and agents of authority (i.e., parents, teachers), and ultimately experiencing compromised life chances. In this report children and families who were seen at 9 months and 3 years of age in the NESS or MCS longitudinal studies are compared to determine whether differences in child and family functioning found at 3 years of age persist until 5 years of age, and whether any other differences emerge."

Supporting young parents

Price-Robertson R
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2010.
Parenthood in the teenage or early adult years presents particular developmental and service challenges. This paper looks at practice considerations for service providers working with young parents. It describes several factors that are important in designing and delivering services for these parents: developing a holistic understanding of the young parents' lives and their developmental phase; being sensitive to the needs of young parents when delivering services; including young fathers; adopting a strengths-based approach; and collaborating with other local community groups and services.

Strengthening young mothers : a qualitative evaluation of a pilot support group program.

Dickinson P and Joe T
Youth Studies Australia v. 29 no. 1 Mar 2010: 35-44
The Young Mothers Support Group program was designed to engage pregnant teens and young mothers in a youth-driven program tailored to meet their identified needs. Central to the success of the program were the premises that young women would engage in healthy relationships with adults and peers within the program, and were able to actively participate in determining program content and implementation. The evaluation describes the challenges involved in, and early successes of, implementing a youth-focused, youth-driven program.

Parenting young : 'homelessness and babes in arms' - the Young Pregnant and Parenting Program (YAPP).

Baxter M
Parity v. 22 no. 8 Sep 2009: 40-41
This article describes the work of the Young Pregnant and Parenting Program in inner western Melbourne, Victoria, which is delivered by Melbourne Citymission. The program provides case management, referral, and parenting support groups to young parents experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Young, pregnant and parenting : challenges working with single homeless women.

Gallagher K
Parity v. 22 no. 8 Sep 2009: 39
This article describes the work of the Young Women's Outreach Program of the Salvation Army, and the challenges in providing services to single homeless women. It outlines housing support needs, parenting and living skills needs, family violence issues, and working with other agencies to provide support.

Pathways to connectedness : supporting young parents through relationships and partnerships.

Young I, Taylor J and Clarke S
Gregory, Gordon, ed. Proceedings of the 10th National Rural Health Conference : Cairns Qld, 17-20 May 2009 : rural health - the place to be. Canberra : National Rural Health Alliance, 2009: 5p
This paper explains how health services in regional Albury-Wodonga are working together to create community-based pathways to support Aboriginal young parents before and after the birth of their baby. The 'Connecting Young Parents' project creates connections for services and young parents with health, education, family services and other agencies. The 'Boorai Bumps' program is aimed at Aboriginal young parents, and helps clients connect with hospital, Aboriginal health service, health education, and Connecting Young Parents programs. Both of these programs are designed strengthen wellbeing through connectedness and are designed to lead to mainstream services and activities.
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