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? 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 identified a desperate need in Southern Tasmania for supported accommodation, targeted at young mothers at risk of homelessness or having their infants removed into State care due to a lack of appropriate accommodation and support.
Hobart City Mission has developed a holistic program that addresses this gap in services by providing accommodation, support, education and hope for young mums and their babies with Small Steps.
Small Steps provides self-contained accommodation for 12 young mums under 25 years old and their babies and who can stay at Small Steps for up to two years. These mothers 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.
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.
In addition to safe and secure accommodation with around the clock support, the young mums are provided with onsite education and understanding of child development. 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.
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
- Decreased reliance on the welfare services and payments
- 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
- Guidance to reach full potential and participate as positive members in the community
- 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…
There are many ways that you can support Small Steps:
- Financial donations – make a donation online, or call (03) 6215 4200
- In-kind donations – e.g. toys, clothing, baby essentials and food for both the mothers and children
- Consider a bequest in your will;
- Develop a Corporate Partnership with the program;
- Come along to the Great Southern Pram Push – HCM’s major fundraising event for Small Steps
Thank you in advance, for supporting these young mums in your community.