Brave - bravefoundation.org.au
Almost 7,000 births were recorded to Australian mothers aged between 15–19 years in 2018.
Teen parents and their children frequently experience vulnerability, with many effected by trauma, abuse, and intergenerational disadvantage. Not only do the births present inherent health risks, each young mother and their children also face serious barriers to accessing appropriate health care and education and are at risk of long-term disadvantage.
Brave Foundation is Australia’s first national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting expecting and parenting teens. For the past 10 years our organisation has been developing a nation-wide ‘village of support’ to equip young parents with the resilience and resources they need to raise happy, healthy and skilled families.
Brave’s approach has social inclusion and collaboration at its heart. We foster community bonding and capacity building by partnering with a wide range of well-established support organisations and services. Brave’s innovative Supporting Expecting and Parenting Teens (SEPT) Program follows an early intervention pathway underpinned by the evidence-based First 1000 Days model. The program’s delivery model and Pathway Plan process were co-designed with young parents and other stakeholders.
The SEPT Program engages young parents during the critical early stages in their parenting journey. Each young person is paired with a trusted professional mentor who guides them along an interactive and flexible pathway that connects them to parenting support, life support and educational opportunities in their local communities.
Supported by their Brave Mentor, each participant voluntarily progresses at their own pace to achieve personal goals relating to education, training, employment, health and wellbeing, parenting and covering their basic needs. The program is currently delivered from 12 hub sites in major cities and regional centres in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
Teen parents and their children are frequently stigmatised and face negative judgement within the community. Despite these challenges we see many tenacious young parents prepared to push ahead and Brave Foundation exists to support them in unlocking their boundless potential!
“You cannot overstate the importance of having a mentor who can reassure you that, even though you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean everything else in your life has to end. Sometimes, all you want is for someone to actually say ‘Congratulations!’ and mean it.”
– Teen parent, Hobart