Imagine you are 16 years old, and you have just found out you are pregnant. What would you do?
What if you were currently living on your friend’s couch? What if you had no support from your family or friends? Where would you go?
For too many in Tasmania, this is reality. For many pregnant teenagers, the only option is to put their newborn in State Care.
Small Steps aims to provide an alternative option of pregnant teenagers, by offering support and accommodation when it is most needed.
What is Small Steps?
Hobart City Mission founded Small Steps in response to identifying a desperate need in Southern Tasmania for supported accommodation, targeted at young mums at risk of homelessness or having their infants removed into State care due to a lack of appropriate accommodation and support.
Small Steps provides a live-in parenting and life skills program for 12 young mums (under 25 years old) and their babies, with 24/7 onsite care. Each mum can stay at Small Steps for up to two years.
The mums are taught skills that can assist them in living independently in the community, such as budgeting, maintaining a stable tenancy, and providing a safe and healthy environment for their child. The young mums are also taught practical application of parenting skills to successfully and independently transition into the community with improved levels of self-confidence and employability.
Since its establishment in June 2014, Small Steps has provided assistance to over 40 mums, who many have moved on to independent living, whilst successfully completing studies or employment.
To find out more about Small Steps or to apply, please call (03) 6215 4200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The benefits to mothers, children and the community include:
- Increased likelihood of the child remaining in their mother’s care, rather than being removed into State Care
- Decrease in the negative impacts of separation on a child’s development, wellbeing and potential
- A reduction in the risks to the mental health of the young mothers and children, typically correlated with young pregnancies
- Increased level of education and employment potential
- Development of appropriate and healthy parenting skills
- A healthy mother-child bond and relationship
- Increased self-esteem and self-belief
- Independence and confidence gained through learning budgeting and literacy skills
- Development of positive role model traits for the children and other young mothers in the community
You can help…
Small Steps receives no on-going government funding, and therefore only operates through generous donations from the community.
There are many ways that you can support Small Steps:
- Financial donations – make a donation online, or call (03) 6215 4200
- Drop in-kind donations to our Hobart Office – e.g. toys, clothing and baby essentials
- Consider a bequest in your will;
- Develop a Corporate Partnership with the program;
- Participate in the Great Southern Pram Push
Thank you in advance, for supporting young mums in your community.
For more information on how you can help, view our Small Steps Brochure here.