A report released by Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) has found that younger mothers aspire to finish their education, find a good job, and provide a safe environment for their child.
The qualitative research study Experiences and Aspirations of Young Mothers explored the experiences of 49 younger mothers who were below the age of 25 when they had their first child, and were receiving Centrelink income support payments. Families Minister Jenny Macklin cited the study this week as she introduced a trial to help 600 teenage parents access education opportunities and support services.
Professor Morag McArthur, Director of ICPS, said the report shows a greater need for support services like those in the Federal Government trial, however it was also critical to provide such support in ways that reduce the stigma many younger mothers feel.
“These services have the potential to assist younger mothers to engage with the formal and informal support systems which can help them to realise their aspirations,” she said.
“It’s important for all parents to know what services are available to them, and how to access them as well as building and strengthening informal support networks. All parents need support and acknowledgement of the important role they play in parenting.”
“No matter their age or socio-economic status, all parents want the same thing for their children – a safe environment and the best opportunities.”
Professor Morag McArthur is available for interview. Please contact Dimity May, Marketing Coordinator, on (02) 6209 1295 or firstname.lastname@example.org