Understanding Teenage Pregnancy Across The Mallee
To ensure people live in safe communities and supportive homes, young parents need to feel like they are well supported and safe so the benefits can flow on to the care of their children.
The Mallee Children and Youth Area Partnership is addressing Mallee’s high rates of teenage pregnancy to improve overall the lives of vulnerable children and young people in the region.
According to local data, the number of teenage girls who become pregnant is high and above the state average, with the exception of only one local government area in the Mallee.
As part of its renewed focus, the Area Partnership is gathering data that examines these high levels of teenage pregnancy across the Mallee to work towards improving the service system surrounding the issue; and highlighting what the Mallee region can do as a community to support the choices of young people who become parents a lot earlier than they expected.
The desired outcomes for the focus on teenage pregnancy include:
- Hearing the voices of young people in these circumstances and learning from their experiences
- Gathering useful data that provides a detailed picture of what the issues are relating to teen pregnancy across the Mallee
- Reviewing local, national and international research on:
- health, education, and wellbeing outcomes for young mothers and their children
- teenage pregnancy prevention and management
- information and supports available to young women to support decision making
- supports for teenage mothers and their children
- impacts on the life trajectories of teenage mothers.
This foundational work will help the Mallee Area Partnership form our next steps to assist young Mallee people faced with an earlier than expected pregnancy. The aim will be to support families with young parents, and to educate young people and ensure supports are available to them so they can make informed choices if they become pregnant, or can make choices that prevent them from becoming pregnant.
The renewed focus is part of the Mallee Children and Youth Area Partnership’s aim to improve the life chances of children, young people and their families; ensuring children live in safe and supportive homes and communities and are engaged in learning and development opportunities from cradle to career.
As well as addressing high levels of teenage pregnancy, the Mallee Area Partnership’s vision is to also enable the best start in life for children from the beginning of pregnancy until the age of six, and increasing Aboriginal children’s capacity to start school ahead of the curve.
Additional insight around the issue surrounding teenage pregnancy is of great interest to the partnerships to inform further work that may address system issues, service gaps, and contribute to decreasing the vulnerability of children, young people and their families. If you think you or others you know can contribute to this work, please contact us.