Jodie Gatley is part of the leadership team at Micah Projects in Brisbane. She has over 15 years’ experience in the community and government sectors, with an emphasis on program development and implementation. She has a keen interest in models of support for vulnerable families that work with both parents and children together and offer wrap-around integrated support. She feels strongly about building the evidence base of programs that work.
Multi-disciplinary early intervention support for young parents – a Case Study
This presentation will outline a model of support for vulnerable young families to support outcomes for both parents and children. It will showcase an early intervention service for young parents 20 years and under – the Caboolture Young Mothers for Young Women (YMYW).
The service is a partnership model with the Caboolture Hospital in response to the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the region – with young parents often presenting late in the pregnancy for antenatal care – and the higher than state and national averages of developmentally vulnerable children. Evidence suggests that the later we wait to support families with children who are at greatest risk, the more difficult and costlier it will be to achieve outcomes, particularly for those who experience the biological disruptions of toxic stress during their earliest years.
YMYW works with parents and children together in their home and centre-based. Unique to the service is its multidisciplinary support encompassing a planned family support worker, a family and children’s worker and a midwife. It uses an evidence-based approach to support called ‘Parents as Teachers’ with intended outcomes including:
• improved parent-child relationships;
• improved parenting capacity;
• increased capacity of families to care for and protect their children;
• improved wellbeing and safety of children, young women and their families;
• enhanced, positive child growth and development and reduction of risks.
We will present first year outcomes of the service and highlight the learnings, benefits and challenges of joint service planning cross family support, early childhood and health.