Sunday Territorian

Support for young parents

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All parents and families want children to be happy, healthy and to have a full life. Communitie­s understand children are our future parents, workforce and decision makers. We all have an important role to play in supporting families and keeping children at the centre of our efforts.

To thrive, children and youths need love, safety, good food along with access to housing, school, health services and jobs. Combined with a strong sense of belonging to family, community and culture children will thrive.

Sometimes families struggle and need support and practical assistance to meet their children’s needs. This year’s theme for National Child Protection Week “Every child, in every community, needs a fair go” is such an important message for our community.

“National Child Protection Week reminds us that we can all play our part in supporting families and creating opportunit­ies to ensure every family has what it needs to give children a fair go and a strong future,” Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh says.

“It is important for organisati­ons like Anglicare NT to work well with others, to be innovative and provide high-quality flexible family support. We must also advocate for changes which get better results, build partnershi­p approaches and make a sustainabl­e difference for families experienci­ng adversity.”

For more than 20 years, Anglicare NT have supported pregnant young mums and young parents in Greater Darwin through the Pandanus, Childbirth Education and Perinatal support service. Pandanus provides childbirth education classes, post-natal support, peer group activities, transport and referrals. It also increases awareness of healthy relationsh­ips and enables young parents to build support networks at a critical time in their lives.

There can be a lot of stigma, confusion and fear attached to an unplanned pregnancy. Anglicare NT works closely with families, GPs, Royal Darwin Hospital, Danila Dilba and other organisati­ons to make sure pregnant young mums and young parents get the right support at the right time.

Jemma Wood, operations manager Youth Support & Developmen­t, says: “Pandanus provides support for young pregnant women and young couples at a vulnerable time in their life journey when they are new to the demands and role of parenting and just learning how to meet the needs of their baby.”

Anglicare NT provides a range of early childhood, children’s, youth and family activities, support, counsellin­g, accommodat­ion and mental health and wellbeing services. Find out more at anglicare-nt.org.au or phone 8985 0000.

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