[Sub ID 4835] Assertive outreach and online information (The Benevolent Society)

Submission ID: 4835
Organisation name: The Benevolent Society
Contact name: Ms Leith Sterling
State: QLD
Contact email: Leith.Sterling@benevolent.org.au

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?
This project will be delivered as part of the Logan Together collective impact initiative, and aims to address the issue of poorer social outcomes for young parents in the Logan community. A key contributing factor associated with this issue includes the disconnection of young parents from key services such as health, education and employment. By addressing and trying to alleviate or prevent poorer social outcomes for young parents, the project also aims to promote better developmental outcomes for the children of young parents while also promoting a positive life trajectory for the young parents themselves, thus improving the quality of life for the family as a whole.

Locally derived data and qualitative information gathered by Logan Together coupled with a review of current academic literature indicates a prevalence of poorer developmental outcomes for children of young parents. Analysis suggests that it is not the age of the parent that is the direct cause of the issue but, rather, a result of environmental factors such as lower educational attainment and lower socio-economic status. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is difficult for young parents to re-engage with formal education after birth of a child. Consultation with young parents suggests that they do not have timely access to information about services and fear of judgment by service providers and other parents.

What is your idea?
This project will be delivered in two components.

The first will pull together a range of information relevant and accessible to young parents using existing social media platforms that are already used by this cohort. This will enable the delivery of online information about pregnancy and parenting, links/contacts for key local services (midwives, child health, family support, childcare, playgroups), a calendar with reminder functions, specific information about opportunities for re-connection into learning or earning opportunities (localised and relevant) and a social connection function for connecting with other young parents in the area.

The online environment will be complemented by a service model with a core component of parent focused case coordination. This role would sit alongside midwives and child health nurses in a community maternity hub setting also being introduced as part of the Logan Together initiative. The purpose of this role would be to track and follow up with young parent/s at least once every three months (but more if required/requested) from pre-birth through to age 8. This role will use an assertive outreach model and the practitioner would require strong engagement skills to ensure parents who might be transient or have other complicating social/environmental factors are not “lost”. The role would ensure parents are able to connect with key supports as they are required and would assist these parents in future planning with a focus on re-connecting to learning or earning opportunities as appropriate, as well as ensuring access to services to promote the health, wellbeing and development of both parent/s and child.