Free support for teen parents in Dudley borough

First published in News

TEENAGE parents in Dudley borough can take part in a free 12 week programme that will show them how to work together for the benefit of their child.

Spurgeons are offering practical and emotional support to young parents, who are no longer in a relationship, through a mixture of group and couples-based sessions.

Sessions, which will culminate in a parenting plan, aim to resolve a range of issues, including roles and responsibilities, contact and financial arrangements.

Additional sessions are also offered for grandparents to help them support parenting arrangements made.

Rebecca Unitt, aged 21, and ex-partner, Duane Middleton, aged 19, both from Dudley, said the programme helped them open up communication channels for the sake of their eight month-old daughter.

Miss Unitt said: “My partner and I would just argue all the time, but after completing the full programme we are now able to speak to each other and sort things out. It’s all been for the benefit of my daughter and we can all move on with our lives.”

Mr Middleton added: “We both agreed to do the course for our daughter because we never got along after we broke up, and it was affecting our daughter. “Being in a controlled environment with someone who knows what they’re doing has greatly helped us get along and talk to each other properly.

"We can now talk about our little girl together and have regular contact on the phone.”

Diana Jagpal, who leads the programme, said sessions would be held at children’s centres across the borough and added: “The feedback from teens using the programme themselves and other professionals working with them has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents tell us that the programme has really helped them to communicate without arguing and that the whole process has been an enjoyable experience.

“It’s wonderful to see the progress that is made in the three months we work with the parents. All the young parents we work with leave the programme with a greater understanding of the benefits of healthier communication and how that can help them and their child.”

The two-year initiative is funded through the Department for Work and Pensions’ Innovation Fund.

Free crèche facilities are available for attendees.

For more information, visit www.spurgeons.org/teenageparents, email teenageparents@spurgeons.org or call 01902 877 559.

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