[Sub ID 4315] Mum Squad – Social media engagement for young parents (Anglicare WA)

Submission ID: 4315
Organisation name: Anglicare WA
State: WA
Contact email: shae.garwood@anglicarewa.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?
Anglicare WA utilised a brief Human Centred Design process to inform this submission.

In interviewing young parents who had succeeded in obtaining employment, we found that their motivation to do so was tied to their identity “I never saw myself not having a job”. And other young parents, “don’t know the pros [positive benefits] of getting a job”. For some young parents, the identity of being a parent is a very important one and, like many other parents, feel that caring for children is more important than securing work. This identity is a core driver of whether young parents are motivated to secure employment.

We also found that young parents are isolated due to their relatively small number in the population. The heavy stigma about being a young parent maintains that isolation, and finding channels to influence the beliefs that being a parent and working are compatible, is difficult.

Parents also described that they were successful in finding work once they were able to be in a “good space”. This channel seeks to decrease isolation and impact feelings of wellbeing.

What is your idea?
Mum Squad opens a non-judgemental, affirming channel for young parents to connect online, utilising existing social media platforms that are best placed to engage the cohort (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, whatever is next). Mum Squad can only work if it is free to use an authentic, engaging voice that affirms a young parent’s independence and ability to choose. It cannot feel like a blog that talks down to the audience or sounds like a government website. It then becomes a space that is owned by the followers and participants in the channels who are able to tell their own stories and co-create content.

Whilst the channel would primarily focus on the holistic needs of young parents, it would also be able to advertise flexible work vacancies that would be sourced from existing job search websites. It could also provide ideas and life hacks that enable young parents to overcome some of the recognised psychosocial barriers to employment (eg how to choose a child care centre, where supports can be found). The content would need to be fun, engaging and user-centred.