Online Project Showcase

Young Families Connect

  • Organisation:

    Young Families Connect

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    Ipswich State High School

  • Scope of Activity:

    Regional

  • Geographic Location:

    Ipswich Region QLD

  • Target Groups:

    Indigenous
    Mothers
    Rural / Regional
    Singles
    Unemployed
    Adolescents

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Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):

    $170 000

  • Current Funding (AUD):

    $70 000

  • Funding Needed (AUD):

    $100 000

  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):

    Yes

  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):

    No

  • DGR Additional Information:

    N/A

  • Other Funding Partners:

    Mission Australia

Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 01 Jan 2001
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 15 Sep 2019
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • Australia’s teenage birth rate has fallen steadily since the 60’s. In 2015, 11.9 live births per 1,000 (a total number of 8550) were recorded for woman aged 19 & under (K.Boulden).

    Programs to support pregnant and parenting young women are limited in Australia. Young mothers are likely to experience discrimination in relation to the resumption or completion of basic education or have had poor outcomes from schooling, often linked to existing disadvantage.

    Young Families Connect Program supports young parents through both academic and parenting education and facilitates their re-engagement into education by targeting the education and support needs of young families, addressing social inclusion and reducing the isolation of disadvantaged families.

    Flexible learning options and time frames and on-site adjunct child care are available, as well as providing a holistic health service provision in partnership with KAMBU Health and Queensland Health.
  • Project Description:
  • Young Families Connect has a multi-focused approach to connecting pregnant and parenting young people with a flexible education package and support from a range of other agencies, as well as providing essential social and emotional supports that may be lacking in a young person’s life. Young mothers state how valuable it has been to find sympathetic help to deal with the range of decisions and arrangements they need to make on a daily basis. From the practicalities of finding accommodation, DV support services, child-care to issues of accessing health care and parenting advice. They also value the help they receive in dealing with a variety of relationship issues with their partners, families and community workers.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • As a consequence of the disadvantage stated in the project description, recommencing education in order to acquire the qualifications necessary for employment can be daunting. Despite the fact that the teenage birth rate remains relatively high, there is no systematic approach to the provision of education support tailored to the needs of young mothers, nor more than a handful of dedicated programs around the country.

    What we do know is that low rates of school completion are associated with the very limited support available to pregnant and parenting young women to complete their education. Young Families Connect encourages and supports all pregnant and parenting students to complete their education. YFC young parents are far more likely than their peers to complete secondary education and engage in post-school education and training with the support that meets their needs as new parents. Continuing education throughout the pregnancy, maintaining a relationship with the school after the birth and re-engaging as soon as practicable.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Anti-discrimination and human rights legislation in most states and territories provides a framework which makes it illegal to deny access to education services on the basis of pregnancy or parental status. It is clear, however, that this is a protection poorly understood by many pregnant and parenting young people and their families. The result is that many either self-select out of school believing they have no right to stay, or are unaware of their right to challenge overt or covert suggestions by schools that they should leave due to their pregnancy or parenting responsibilities. On the basis of considerable anecdotal evidence, it would also appear that many schools are unaware they are in breach of the law in demanding or coercing pregnant and parenting young people to leave.

    Young Families Connect has a clear focus – to remove the barriers to learning for pregnant and parenting young women. The program works to implement the QLD DET State Schools’ Division Pregnant and Partening students Policy. The program is designed to increase participation rates and to support them to further their education and transition to work.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • Young Families Connect assist pregnant and parenting young women through both academic and parenting education and facilitates their re-engagement into education by targeting the education and support needs of young families, addressing social inclusion and reducing the isolation of disadvantaged families.

    By using personalised learning programs these are some but not limited to ways Young Families Connect empower women:
    • Provide certification pathways towards Queensland Certificate in Education including vocational components.
    • Develop the social and emotional intelligences needed to become connected to their chosen community.
    • Improve students’ literacy, numeracy & workplace practices
    • Develop each individuals awareness of local and global issues
    • Provide a supportive environment which encourages young people to identify and manage their personal circumstances.
    • Design educational pathways with young women to develop the necessary skills and personal strengths they need to b
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • We have recently received a two-page story in the Courier Mail highlighting the work that we do.

    We would love the opportunity, if we had sufficient funding, to drive public awareness of your program through positive media and promotion.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • Young Families Connect have repeatedly raised issues related to funding & research. Lack of certainty about funding, and the inadequacy of non-recurrent grants as a funding base, not only make for insecurity in program design and delivery, but also has a huge impact on gathering data and research. Currently YFC has a small funding agreement with Mission Australia C4C program and the relative data is kept for that agreement only. The school keeps data that is required for all students in Queensland students but is not specific to pregnant and parenting students. We have been fortunate enough to start work with Professor Martin Mills Head of School, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Services and his team. We will be working on some evaluation tools which will lead into some valuable research in this field.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Corinne Harper

  • Email:

    charp27@eq.edu.au

  • Phone:

    0472830836