When the HOPE Program was established in 2019 it focused on providing vital support to at-risk young parents and has so far assisted 180 young mothers. Connecting with those aged between 16 and 24 who are pregnant or with a child aged under two and are dealing with complex issues because of trauma in their lives. The HOPE Program was developed by parenting and education experts, trauma counsellors, social workers, and special psychologists at CatholicCare Sydney as a wraparound service that meets the complex needs of each individual. The program has now expanded to include much-needed assistance to young fathers, supporting the young family through the first 2000 days of a child’s life.
Providing practical support in the way of assistance with rental bonds, securing safe and stable housing, food vouchers, and specialist medical appointments, accompanied by emotional and mental wellbeing support with the establishment of therapeutic relationships with case managers and education specialists.
For each young family who participates in the 12-month program, CatholicCare Sydney needs to raise $25,000. This covers the cost of all aspects of the program and is a solid investment in the safety and wellbeing of a young family. The impact of not supporting vulnerable young families is far greater – early life experiences are predictive of educational outcomes, physical and mental health, and lifestyle choices. A high number of stressful events in the first 2000 days of a child’s life can increase their chance of getting involved in the juvenile justice system, they can be more likely to smoke, be above a healthy weight, or misuse drugs or alcohol.
With aspirations to expand the HOPE Program and assist 300 young families over the next three years, there is a need for greater support to secure housing and increase funding to help with brokerage items including baby and home essentials.
HOPE is a unique program, one of the few offering a full range of social services for young families under one umbrella – addressing homelessness, trauma support, brokerage, and education.
The work carried out by HOPE helps ensure:
Healthy early development, supported by nurturing and good relationships and a strong supportive foundation, makes it more likely that children will have happy, healthy, and bright futures. Every donation helps deliver HOPE for every child and young family in the Program.
To learn more about the HOPE program, please click here.