Redress August 2016

Pregnant and Parenting Teenagers

Redress August 2016

Pregnant and Parenting Teenagers

From the Editor

The Association of Women Educators has been advocating for pregnant and parenting teenagers since the 1990s when we published Pregnant, Present and Proud. This was followed by two more publications, Step by Step - Side by Side and What it Takes. We also conducted a series of workshops around Australia and two national conferences about the issue. From those conferences a national network arose of educators and other community service providers who give support to pregnant and parenting young people. On page nine of this edition there is an article about the Australian Young Pregnant and Parenting Network (AYPPN) and its recently launched website. Schools, in particular, with young people who need support, and young people themselves, can use this website to search for information and service providers in their state or territory.

The lead article by Kay Boulden, the author of all the above AWE publications, gives an excellent summary of the issues surrounding pregnant and parenting teenagers and support needs. She also gives a series of recommendations for a national approach to this support.

Members of AYPPN who conduct programs for pregnant and parenting young people have written about these programs. These articles showcase the various innovative support models that exist in Australia (albeit too few of them) and illustrate that no one model is the panacea. The articles all show that community partnerships are essential for successful programs particularly as the needs and circumstances of young people are complex and funding is precarious.

The individual stories by young women show their amazing resilience, their gratitude for the support that they have received in these programs, their determination to create a future for themselves and their child – and their joy in motherhood.

Finally, Susan Currie, a friend of mine from high school who was a young single mother in the 1960s, writes of her harrowing experience at that time. Susan is the author of a recently published biography of the life of Dr Janet Irwin, a fearless feminist activist.

Lesley McFarlane
Editorial Committee

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ISSUE PREVIEW

View Port School Young Parent Centre a highlight article from the August 2016 issue of Redress.

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