Former Neighbours star Madeleine West knows all too well the struggles and triumphs of teen parenthood. Her parents were just 16 when she was born.
“I’m the product of a teen mum,” Madeleine told Mouths of Mums. “My parents were very, very young when they had me and there can be a stigma attached to the notion of teen parenthood, yet it is a reality. It’s happening all around the world and all throughout Australia. But the best thing we can do is create the support network for these young people.”
It’s one of the many reasons she’s passionate about the programs offered by the Australian Red Cross to help young parents adjust to their new normal.
“I was there first-hand to witness my mum’s struggle. She had to sacrifice her own dreams to become a mother and there was no support network in place for her at the time, she did it tough. But now, thanks to programs like those offered by the Red Cross, it’s possible for these young people to still reach for the stars and become great parents.”
Last week Madeleine was the guest speaker at the Red Cross Young Parents Program Recognition Ceremony. The program works with young parents to help them build their confidence and independence.
The program includes weekly parenting classes, life skills groups, child development services and playgroups.
“It offers support, capacity building and parent skill building. Some of these young people might not have a family support network around them to pass on the accrued knowledge. Teen parenthood is a reality, and the best thing we can do is ensure that young people have a support network to be their very best, and therefore create great role models for their kids.”
For more information on the Young Parents Program, head to Red Cross.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.