There are a number of issues surrounding teenage pregnancy and parenthood which a young woman has to cope with; getting enough support to ensure she can continue with her education is one of them. A young woman will have to deal with changing roles and relationships within her family, decisions about school and managing study as well as accessing ante and postnatal care and support.
How can the EWS help a young woman during and after the birth of her baby?
Is there any child care support available?
What does the term ‘school aged mother’ refer to?
What support with Education is available through the S.A.M (school aged mother) project?
How does a young woman access the S.A.M support service?
How can the Education Welfare Service help a young woman during and after the birth of her baby?
An Education Welfare Officer will work on your behalf to ensure you have as much additional support with your education as possible both before and after the baby is born. They will along with you, your school and your parents/carers make a plan which looks at the education options available for you, how you can continue working towards qualifications, study support when out of school and how you will be supported in school when you return.
Is there any child care support for young mothers?
If a young person is returning to school full time the Education Welfare Service will ask social services to undertake an assessment of need. Based on this financial support can be made available for a registered childminder.
What does the term ‘School aged mother’ mean?
This term refers to young women of compulsorily school age who have had a child. The School Aged Mothers (S.A.M) Project was established to support young women who are pregnant or who have had a baby whilst of compulsory school age which is up to the end of Year 12. The Project is also available for young women who stay on at school in year 13 and 14. It was set up to provide choice and support for young women and to specifically address the issue of young women leaving school each year around the time they become pregnant.
What support with education is available through S.A.M. for young women who have had or are expecting a child?
The SAM (School Aged Mothers) Project is available across Northern Ireland. The Project offers support to continue education as well as helping a young women have her personal development, antenatal and health care needs addressed.
A Project in your local area could involve the following professionals: an Education Welfare Service project officer, an education tutor, a Surestart worker, a health visitor, a midwife and crèche supervisors. A young woman can meet up with other girls who are also young mums, she can take part in a supportive group or get support on an individual basis. There is a range of expert practical advice available on health, benefit, welfare and education issues and some projects include on-site tuition.
How does a young women access the ‘SAM’ support service?
A referral to the Project will normally come from an Education Welfare Officer, a school, or can come from a health professional or social worker. A young woman can also directly ask about this support at her school or from the EWS offices in her area.
The Young Parents Network (028 9047 3856) is a voluntary organisation who also have a range of information on education as well as other aspects of school aged mother and parent support.