Hope for pregnant teens in North West NSW
North West NSW is a place where small towns are not getting the support they need. Some people in towns such as Moree, Mungindi, Toomella, Wee Waa, Boggabilla, Inverell and Narrabri are stuck in cycles of generational disadvantage, with high rates of pregnancy among their teenage population. Unfortunately, these mothers and mothers-to-be, particularly of aboriginal descent, are not able to access the support they need to leave abusive and violent homes and relationships, finish their education or learn how to be a mother and look after children.
Anglicare Northern Inland (ANI) Diocese of Armidale received a $5,000 grant through FRRR’s Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program to help fund a pilot program called Hope for Life.
They help these women by working in partnership with local specialist health and support agencies to enable access to a safe home, leave abusive relationships, finish their education if they choose to, attend birth and parenting classes and create a network of other new mums for them to connect with in their area.
Veronica Rodenburg, CEO of Anglicare Northern Inland explains that the staff work hard at building trust and often start with discussions about aspirations for a future successful happy life.
“In many cases the Hope for Life team are the only trusted and reliable support these young women have. We attend maternity health checks with them, assist in finding sustainable housing and provide clothes and equipment for the new baby.”
All participants to date have delivered healthy babies, had their children immunised, are learning about infant care, parenting and self-care.
“By increasing their knowledge and capacity it improves their self-esteem and confidence,” said Ms Rodenburg.