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A Decade for Young Parents Program

The people that make it happen: Megan Hillas, Renee Vallance, Cr Peter Innes and Karen Boyd.

THE Young Parents Program celebrated 10 years of assisting parents aged 14-21, with an afternoon tea at Yuille Park Community College last week. Program Coordinator Peter Innes said the program began with just a handful of girls, now there are over 30 enrolled in the program.

“The program is about a whole community approach to helping young mums get back into education and getting their life back on track,” he said. Mr Innes came up with the idea after seeing a couple of young mums in 2006 and asking what was the top priority to help them re-engage back into the community.

“So I started thinking about it and we created a whole lot of different domains and got corporate support for each of them and it has just grown from strength, to strength, to strength,” he said. “Well over one hundred have gone through the program. “We are probably the only registered house that’s a campus in Victoria, so our house is designed for young mums only.”

Mr Innes said the next goal was to talk with government to try and extend the program. “We need to have a funding model and that would enable other schools in other areas to set up, as well,” he said. The Young Parents Program (YPP) operates Monday-Friday during school terms, offering a variety of learning opportunities. Students are enrolled at Yuille Park Community College as senior secondary students and have the support of teachers, YPP coordinator and community support services.

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