Department of Human Services

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New pilot program helping vulnerable young mums

A new two-year pilot program targeting young Adelaide mums who need specific parenting support is aiming to improve outcomes and stop the need for child protection interventions.

Funded as part of this year’s State Budget, the $900,000 Breathing Space pilot will be delivered by Catholic Family Services, targeting mothers aged under 25 across metro and southern Adelaide who may benefit from extra support to learn and grow as parents. Specifically, it will work with women who live in:

  • the Local Government Areas of the City of Adelaide
  • City of Marion
  • City of Onkaparinga
  • City of Port Adelaide Enfield (some suburbs only).

Each mother will work with a team of experts including a case manager, senior practitioner, women’s health nurse and financial counsellor.

The pilot forms part of the State Government’s $40 million Child and Family Support System reform, where agencies are working together to better support families who need help much earlier. The State Government is using the latest data and evidence to redesign the way vulnerable families and children are supported.

Young mothers under 25 who have experienced the removal of their child through child protection system, or have been removed as a child themselves, are known to be far more likely to need a helping hand as a parent.

Through this pilot program, family support workers will work directly with particularly vulnerable young mums to focus on their own development and help them overcome past traumas that could impact their parenting, as well as give them practical advice about a range of topics, including sexual health.

Breathing Space is one of four new pilot programs the State Government is currently funding that seek to reduce child abuse and neglect by providing earlier and more targeted support to families and their children. Through these pilot programs, more effective support for the most vulnerable children and families, a reduction in the need for statutory responses from child protection and healthier family environments where children can thrive, are expected to be achieved.

Young mothers overcoming trauma will be referred to the Breathing Space pilot program via a partnership with the Department for Child Protection, birthing hospitals and the Department of Human Services.

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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