Talking Realities...Young Parenting Project

Staff involved: Gwyn Jolley and Stacey Masters

Talking Realities is a program that trains and supports young parents to become peer educators. The peer educators run education sessions for schools and other community agencies, describing the reality of young parenting. The program is auspiced by Adelaide Central Community Health Service and funded by the Department of Family and Community Services and Parenting SA.

SACHRU has had an ongoing relationship with the program, having been involved in evaluating the program during three consecutive funding cycles. The evaluation of the currently funded period was completed in February 2004.

The evaluation used a mix of methods to obtain data from a wide range of stakeholders: students and teachers, the peer educators, network organisations and program staff. Methods of data collection included feedback sheets, self-completion surveys, telephone interviews, focus groups and face-to-face interviews.

The program has been presented at 115 sites to a total of 5,600 students, other young people and service providers. The main findings suggest that students learned a lot about the responsibilities of parenting and the impact on their educational, social and financial opportunities. The peer educators benefited by increases in their parenting and general life skills, by increases in self-confidence and by renewed opportunities to return to education or employment. It is anticipated that these benefits will flow on to the peer educators' children.

The evaluation report can be found here