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The Power Program for Pregnant Teenagers

Power Outreach Program

Teenage pregnancy has been looked at as a controversial topic for decades. The trends and practices have indeed changed over time but one thing is still undebated: the young mothers and the babies born out of those pregnancies need optimal support to thrive and have the best chances in life.

Psychosocial issues

Most teen pregnancies are unplanned with the young mother and father engaged in unsafe lifestyles which include, smoking, drinking and drug use.

Considering that most mothers delay the disclosure of the pregnancy, the pregnant mum often has delayed antenatal care with higher rates of health problems which may include pre-ecampsia and anaemia.

The young mothers often have acute psychiatric and situational crises with up to 25% of all teenage experiencing up to four housing shifts in the year before giving birth. The rates of depression, both antenatal and postnatal depression are higher in pregnant teenagers than they are in the rest of the population.

There are also social isolation issues stemming from a lack of adequate family support and lack of consistent social network as well as challenges in completing school. The young parents often have existing problems compounded by parenthood and/or pregnancy which also include relationship breakdowns with fathers, housing and risks of homelessness as well as a general detachment of normal teenage routine activities.

There are daily challenges that also take place and they involve:

  • Exhaustion from pregnancy and caring for a small child without adequate maturity.
  • Lack of preparation for parenting.
  • Difficulties in accessing training and work.
  • Financial difficulties.
  • Social disapproval, both overt and covert.
  • Fear of welfare authorities

Teenagers need support and that is where The Power Program comes in.

What is the Power Program

The Power Program assists pregnant and parenting young people to remain in or to re-engage with school. Young parents attend school classes while their children are cared for in on-site crèche. Weekly parenting programs and relationship education is provided. The child health nurse visits and baby checks are attended. Power stands for:
Parents
Overcoming
Work and
Education
Restrictions

The POWER Program was established at Mabel Park State High School at the beginning of the 2001 school year as a result of needs identified by the school’s internal welfare committee and through consultation with the wider community.  The community need is evidenced by the 160 young parents who have accessed the program since it began.

Goals of the Power Program

The goals of the Power Program are to:

  • Engage pregnant and parenting teenagers to remain in the school system.
  • Assist every student to graduate with a QCE, VET certificate or into another tertiary pathway.
  • Provide an online crèche for students and their babies.
  • Being active role models who value education, success and good work ethics.
  • Provide support to every student upon exit of the program with case management for 12 months after graduation.
  • Facilitate positive parenting practices which include : Safe relationships, safe use of alcohol around children, effect of smoking on children, hygiene standards, Adequate discipline, adequate verbal language around children, adequate social skills, appropriate meal and food preparation and intake for children.
  • Facilitate students’ access to services they are in need of (Housing, licence testing, furniture, legal advice, phone and electricity companies, emergency relief and financial counselling)
  • Enable students to satisfy requirements for the department of Child Safety or to be reunited with their children after an order from Child Safety.
  • Advocate for young parents and actively research the area in line with other organisations and research bodies.

Contact Details:

Address: Mabel Park High School. Paradise Road, Slacks Creek QLD 4127
Phone: (07) 3489 2333
Fax: (07) 3489 2300
Email: mkavana@careerkeys.com.au
Website: www.mabelparkshs.eq.edu.au/power/index.html

Comments

3 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Sharna Voight
Jan 6, 2014 12:13pm [ 1 ]

I was once a student at Mabel Park SHS and was apart of the POWER program. They helped me become a confident role model to my children and helped me believe in myself and I would be proud to refer people on to them.

Jan 19, 2014 5:47am [ 2 ]

Hi Sharna - thank you so much for posting. It is wonderful to hear from someone who has been part of the POWER program

Angelica fletcher
Sep 1, 2014 3:45pm [ 3 ]

How much dose it cost and Can i do year 10&12 there? Please email me

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