[Sub ID 4562] Young parents co-op (Sanderson Alliance)

Submission ID: 4562
Organisation name: Sanderson Alliance
Contact name: Ms Karen Cieri
State: NT
Contact email: karen.cieri@ntschools.net
Contact number: 0428718981

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Our provincial population has an average of five teenage births p.a. and 32 teenage mothers with children under four years (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013). Our population is 14.5% Aboriginal and 31% born overseas and 7.2% of families have both parents unemployed (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). The proportion of children in vulnerable on one or more developmental domains in Sanderson area is 19% (AEDC 2015). Young parents can face many complex issues including health, mental health, homelessness and disengagement from education. Some young parents in our area also experience low family cohesion, trauma and intergenerational unemployment.

We have identified a gap in the programs available to young parents addressing their work-ready skills. Some programs available for young parents target early parenting and support for academic socialisation. In our experience, lack of casual child minding availability has been a barrier to parents’ participation in training and support programs with more ‘wrap-around’ approaches that offer non-threatening access to adult literacy and numeracy; qualification pathways; work experience opportunities; addressing home environments and child development; early learning engagement, and building self-confidence, self-advocacy and aspirations for self and child.

What is your idea?

Establish a co-op of young parents to provide child-minding, art, life coaching etc to peers and others. The co-op will be based in two local family centres to develop ongoing relationships in a family-centered environment. This collaborative group of parents provides a supportive base, a focus around which our local community and service networks can gather and eventually income. The co-op is part of the Sanderson Alliance, a place-based, community-driven Collective Impact initiative, influencing systemic change towards population shifts in life outcomes for children. Parents will identify their barriers to successful entry or re-entry to economic participation and the Sanderson Alliance works to access the targeted or critical care parents need (eg. housing, financial counselling and health checks).

We use a family literacy model:
– early years learning and parenting skills training
– business planning training
– formal study such as secondary education, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, Community Services or other

Parents access family-friendly work placements and traineeships in our organisations and beyond. Parents will build their enterprise and engage other parents in early literacy programs and community-building activities by networking across the casual playgroups and other local services. The co-op would be central to the broader community-building work of the Sanderson Alliance.