In April, Dr Alberto Furlan and Dr Squirrel Main were delighted to visit the Karinya Young Women’s Service in Tasmania to hear about Karinya’s successful Young Mums ‘n’ Bubs (KYM) program.
Established initially as a three-year pilot program by Karinya in 2012, the program secured a further three years funding from 2015 to 2018 from the Tasmanian Community Fund and The Ian Potter Foundation ($114,000 Community Wellbeing grant).
KYM is an early intervention service for pregnant teenagers and young parents aged 15–19 that aims to fill a gap in services for this particular group in the Launceston area. KYM prioritises those with the highest need – those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and with limited family support – and seeks to redirect parents and their babies from the welfare and child protection systems.
The program aims to achieve the following broad outcomes:
- Healthy, skilled, connected and confident young-parent families
- Healthy, nurtured babies of young mothers, and
- Healthy parents pursuing the development of their personal potential as productive, socially and economically engaged adults.
With additional assistance from the Foundation’s Research & Evaluation Manager, Dr Squirrel Main, Karinya have now published a detailed evaluation of the KYM program from September 2015 to August 2016. The report, Windows of Opportunity, reveals significant improvements within these broad outcomes across a range of measures including:
- 100% of parents maintained stable accommodation while in KYM and after leaving
- 100% experienced some or a big improvement in their health
- 93% reported better skills for life and social situations
- 71% were more engaged with education and training.
- 100% babies were observed to have positive, secure attachment with at least one parents and none were separated from their parent
- 100% were engaged with Child Health Services and were immunised.
Windows of Opportunity also estimates that for every dollar invested in the KYM program, the Tasmanian Government would generate savings and benefits of $2.84 over a five-year period. The key areas of savings and benefits estimated for the Tasmania Government include decreased engagement with Child Protection, reduced contact with the criminal justice system, and fewer health services used by the KYM target group.
This project is an exemplar of the Foundation’s approach to grant-making: supporting an innovative project with a multi-year grant, ensuring the outcomes of the project are evaluated and the results are disseminated within the sector and to other funders.
Karinya Young Women’s Service is now pursuing ongoing funding opportunities with government and other funding bodies.
The Foundation would be pleased to discuss the success of the project with interested parties. Please contact Dr Alberto Furlan, Senior Program Manager on 03 9650 3188.