Child and Youth Care Forum
This article describes effective family support intervention programs designed for adolescent parents. The social support programs are offered through child care centers used by adolescents as they continue their education or vocational training. Benefits of social support services include improved knowledge about parenting, enhanced relationships between parent and child; and increased economic self-sufficiency for the young family. Three types of program models are explained in the article: community-based programs (health services, supplemental parent education); comprehensive programs (prenatal and postnatal health services, child care, parent education, job training); and informal support systems (using resources from the mother's social network). Effective programs are systematically planned, offer a comprehensive selection of services, address child development and health care needs, are customized to the developmental level of the parent, involve extended family members, and promote intergenerational relationships. These services can be provided in the child care setting as part of a collaboration with social service agencies or as a referral service for teen parents. Outreach services conducted by health agencies can also integrate social support programming for parents who stay at home with their children. 36 references.
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