Service offers help to young parents

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014

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Parenthood can be a daunting journey when you're a young mum or dad.

But a parenting service which opened in Henderson last month provides vital advice and information.

Thrive Teen Parent Support Trust has six staff including a social worker, antenatal facilitator, young dads' facilitator and volunteer co-ordinator and supports parents in both group and one-on-one settings.

Young dads' facilitator Josh Te Rore says an underlying issue in young fathers is employment.

"Young dads want to provide for their families and you can tell it plays on their mind," he says.

Thrive helps to provide a stepping stone for its clients to get into the line of work they want.

"We help them draw on their own strengths and ask what work they want to get in to.

"Most say hands-on jobs like welding or building and we suggest universities or courses that could help get them into the trade," Mr Te Rore says.

The Henderson clinic is the second under the Thrive Trust branch - a centre was opened in Mt Albert in 2010.

The free service was brought out west because of a high demand for young parent support in Waitakere.

The trust receives funding from the Social Development Ministry, ASB Community Trust and the Todd Foundation.

Thrive administrator Sharleen Churchward says it's rewarding seeing the changes in parents' confidence and ability to look after their child.

"Sometimes young parents can feel isolated from their friend group and want to be surrounded by more people like them," she says.

"General antenatal classes with middle-aged women often don't work for younger mothers so realising that there are more people like them helps them gain more confidence in being a parent."

Visit the Thrive hub, 34 Lincoln Rd or thrive.org.nz for more information.

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