Mariam* is a 23-year-old mother who came to the Young Parents’ Program (YPP) as a self-referral looking for support with her parenting.
At the time, Mariam was pregnant with her second child and experiencing pressure from her family to terminate the pregnancy, despite wanting to continue with it herself. She often appeared anxious in one-on-one conversations and struggled with her frustration and coping with the daily parenting of her young daughter.
Mariam experienced significant difficulties after the birth of her first child, suffering from Post Natal Depression (PND) and mental health issues which impacted her ability to bond and breastfeed. A survivor of family violence, Mariam reported repeating some of the damaging parenting choices she had experienced from her parents. She told her YPP Connector that she desperately wanted to break the cycle of responding emotionally and with anger towards her child.
Throughout her second pregnancy, Mariam’s YPP connector worked closely with other allied health professionals to provide her with holistic support. She was referred to the Orange Door which helped Mariam receive ongoing support from Family Services. With encouragement, Mariam attended a parenting program, facilitated by YPP, and she was referred to counselling for both herself and her daughter which helped improve her attachment and their relationship.
Mariam attended the weekly social group component of YPP which offers an interactive and safe environment designed for young parents to spend quality time together, whilst allowing their children to play in a supported space. She consistently attended this group, both online and in person, and quickly developed connections with other young parents.
As a result of the Young Parents Program support, varied interventions, and access to the social support group, Mariam delivered her second child without experiencing PND and was able to instantly bond and breast feed. This was a significant milestone in Mariam’s personal journey. She continues to foster a healthier attachment to her children whilst continuing to receive support to manage her ongoing trauma and parenting struggles.
Mariam has found childcare for her elder daughter which provides respite and time to bond with her newborn. She reports feeling calmer and more confident in her parenting daily. She continues to attend the peer support group each week and is a valuable contributor to discussions, offering support to other group members.
Despite residing outside of Hume, Mariam continues to travel to access the YPP groups and maintain relationships. Due to her positive experience with YPP, Mariam also encouraged her partner to contact YPP and he is now also engaging positively with a YPP connector.
Uniting through its Communities for Children Hume Program is a facilitating partner for Anglicare Victoria’s Young Parents’ Project since 2021, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Learn more about Communities for Children Hume.
*This is a true story about real people, based on a project report provided by Anglicare Victoria Young Parents Program.
*Some details such as names have been changed to respect the wishes of the people featured. The photo accompanying this story is for illustrative purposes only. It is not a photo of the people featured in this story.