News and events

Horizon House Brings Young Mother and Baby Program to Victoria

Vulnerable young mothers in Bendigo are the first in Victoria to have access to the Horizon House Young Mother and Baby Program with our four-bedroom residential facility now open.

Young mother cuddling her baby

The Program provides stable accommodation and support for young women aged 16-22 who are currently experiencing or are at serious risk of homelessness during their pregnancy and up to their child’s third birthday.

It is delivered by an experienced team of qualified Caregivers who provide individual case management and therapeutic support.

St John of God Social Outreach Director Youth and Accommodation Services, Ros Fahey said the focus of the Young Mother and Baby Program is early intervention.

“We want to support these young women to develop the tools and skills they require to live independently as parents, preventing them and their children from entering the cycle of homelessness,” Ros said.

As part of their journey towards independence, all Program clients are required to participate in education, training and employment opportunities.

Clients are also required to participate in a specialised program that builds parenting skills and essential life skills such as cooking, cleaning and personal budgeting.

“We have a strong focus on parent education, ensuring the health and development of mothers and babies and encouraging social connectedness and independence,” Ros said.

“It’s very much about working with each young woman to achieve their personal goals and ensure they are getting the best outcomes for them and their child.

“We are delighted to have an agreement with Haven Home Safe Housing in Bendigo that will see them provide Tier 2, transitional accommodations for young mothers who are ready to take the next step in their journey towards independence.”

The Horizon House Young Mother & Baby Program has been running in Perth since 2012 and supported 18 young mothers and their children in 2016 alone.

This is the second dedicated Horizon House to open in Victoria in 2017, another Tier 1 house opened in Ballarat in August to support four young people at a time.

Find out more about Horizon House, including the Young Mother and Baby Program.