West Midlands teen parents programme extended
The West Midlands programme helping separated teenage parents work together for the benefit of their child has been granted an extension following a funding boost.
The extra Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funding means children’s charity Spurgeons can continue to deliver its ground breaking initiative for another six months.
Spurgeons has developed the free 12-week programme to help teenage parents, who are separated or not in a relationship, in Dudley, Birmingham, Solihull, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
The programme offers practical and emotional advice and support to young parents and to expectant parents. It comprises a mixture of group and couples-based sessions aimed at resolving a range of issues, such as roles and responsibilities, difficult conversations, contact and financial arrangements, all culminating in a parenting plan. Additional sessions are also offered for grandparents to help them support parenting arrangements made.
Spurgeons chief executive Ross Hendry said: “We are delighted our Separated Teenage Parents programme has obtained an extension, allowing us to help more families work together for the benefit of their child.
“Good communication is proving vital in rebuilding and sustaining good relationships; and stable healthy relationships are a cornerstone of a good childhood. That is why we are so pleased that our proven programme is being supported to give even more children the start in life that will improve their outcomes and life chances.”
The two-year initiative, funded through the DWP Innovation Fund, was due to end in May but will now be extended until September following a £2.5m boost to this and 15 other innovative family support projects.
Minister for Child Maintenance Steve Webb said: “Family breakdown can be difficult for everyone involved, but the evidence shows that children stand a much better chance of getting on in life when their parents are working together.”
“This funding will allow these projects to continue their excellent work by helping parents to put aside their differences for their children’s sake. We are starting to see some very encouraging results from these projects which will be invaluable when it comes to designing future services and are proving priceless for the families being helped.”
Spurgeons is now urging eligible parents to come forward to take advantage of the free support on offer before funding runs out.