This program addresses the needs of pregnant mothers or mothers of young children who are struggling due to the many and varied challenges that this stage of life can bring, often compounded with additional issues such as mental health difficulties, behavioural challenges, or disability. We aim to provide support and encouragement by placing an experienced mum from our community with these ladies to walk alongside them.
- To connect pregnant and parenting women who need some extra support to deal with the challenges they are facing with caring women and services in the community
- To help build the resiliency and protective factors necessary for young women to reach their potential as individuals and as mothers
How we go about doing this
- Providing a ‘one-to-one’ mentoring service to pregnant and parenting women who do not have adequate social and/or emotional support from adult friends and family
- Providing relevant social and educational programs and opportunities (playgroup, parenting programs)
What is mentoring?
“Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the people involved.” S.Madison
Mentoring strategies have been found to be effective in: preventing a wide range of risk behaviours, enhancing social and emotional development and producing positive academic outcomes in their participants. (Jekiele, Moore, Hair & Scarupa, 2002)
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are volunteers from the community who have been trained and are committed to the health and welfare of women and their children. All mentors are mothers over 24 years of age.
Who are the Mentoring Mums mothers?
Pregnant, parenting and/or disabled women, who live in the Gladstone area. These women are voluntary participants in the program and can be self-referred or referred by health, education and welfare organisations in Gladstone.
Why preganant and parenting women?
- Mixed emotions are normal during pregnancy and a necessary part of preparing to become a parent but these changes can sometimes be scary and stressful.
- This time of transition brings considerable physical, emotional and social upheaval that can be overwhelming for parents at a time when they are also getting to know their new baby.
- Parenting is a time of significant change that brings many joys but also many challenges. When women are dealing with additional challenges such as depression, anxiety, lack of nearby social and family supports, parental or child ill health, or disability, these challenges are compounded. The support of a mentor can be a great help in coping with parenthood, making any necessary changes and finding fulfilment in this role.
- It is important to remember that adapting to life as a parent can take time. Our service recognises the complex needs of this group of women and sensitively aims to help meet these.