[Sub ID 4482] National council for young parents (Policy Hack Table 10)

Submission ID: 4482
Organisation name: Policy Hack Table 10 (Parents)

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young parents face the dual burden of meeting their own needs and aspirations for education and employment, and at the same time, the needs of their child(ren). Without support, young parents may face restricted opportunities for education and employment, risks that in turn may contribute to the intergenerational transmission of inequality by restricting the developmental opportunities of children of young mothers. The burdens of young parenthood fall most heavily on young mothers.

In most cases, young mothers are not in stable, long-term partnerships, and must deal with parenthood without the support offered from a partner. Further young mothers may themselves be undergoing other important life course transitions, such as completing education and entering employment for the first time, as well as facing stigma and disapproval.

The circumstances and resources available to young parents will vary across social, demographic, cultural, regional and economic characteristics. Some young parents may need considerable assistance to support them to navigate pregnancy and parenthood, as well as to ensure they have the opportunity to complete education and access employment.

What is your idea?
This proposal has two components:

First local ‘navigators’ would help young parents from early pregnancy for as long as needed but focusing on the first 1,001 critical days. Navigators would take a human-centred approach to help young parents build capacity and navigate the transition from parenting to employment. Navigators would work with education/employment providers, working towards young parents being employed and quality care options for child(ren).

Second, a new National Council for Young Parents would provide national leadership, focused on collaborative policy and service design between the government (all levels) and non-government sector to remove silos in policy and service delivery. The National Council would facilitate best practice, evidence based, collaborative services and programs for young parents with an employment end-goal focus, and ensure local networks have resources to support parents achieve their goals.

Local networks would be place-based, and could be new or existing community collaborations with young parent relevant stakeholders. The local networks would work with the National Council around policy and program design, and locally work with community organisations/businesses to meet short and long-term needs of parents. Local networks would reduce stigma to prevent discrimination and marginalisation and cut through service or program barriers.