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Conference to explore support needed by teen parents

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Thrive Teen Parent Support Trust (Thrive) a non-profit organisation which supports young people to thrive and be confident as parents is hosting New Zealand’s inaugural Teen Parent Support Conference on 24-25 September at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland. The conference theme is ‘Supporting teen mums and dads to build, follow and fulfil their dreams’.

Highlights of the Conference include keynote speaker New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes talking about some of the challenges she faced becoming a parent at the age of 16.

Dr Teuila Percival QSO, MBChB, FRACP, Director of TAHA, the Pacific Well Mother and Infant Service in Auckland will highlight the need for a wrap-around service for teen parents. Teen parents struggle with the need to not only take on the responsibilities of becoming a parent but also with the fact they are adolescents.

Conference dinner speaker, fashion designer, business woman, mother of 4 and teen parent Sera-Lilly will inspire conference attendees with her story of how with support she set up her own high end fashion label on Ponsonby Rd. She now runs a successful online business and Facebook forum Fat2FitNZ to support women on their weight-loss journeys.

The Conference will also officially launch the research publication ‘The importance of whanau, family in the lives of young parents’, which serves to demystify the steps and the mechanisms that enable teen parents to attain positive outcomes. The research cements the role of whanau in playing a significant role in the growth and development of teen whanau.

Thrive Teen Parent Support Trust’s Manager Cinnamon Whitlock explains, "The Conference has been designed in response to the need for the support that young parents require. It will provide a major gathering point for a wide range of people involved in working in the area of teen pregnancy and parenting."

Thrive offers a range of services for young mums and dads including antenatal classes, support groups for mums and dads, parenting programmes and social work assistance, in particular in bringing together a range of agencies to help teen parents with the challenges they face in dealing with access to housing, benefits and other social services.

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