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In Spite Of The Development Of Family, Children And Young People's Integrated Services To Deliver Significantly Improved Outcomes, Hard To Reach Famil

2524 words - 11 pages

My chosen group are teenage parents, including both teenage mothers and young fathers. My reason for choosing this vulnerable group is due to the amount of focus and scrutiny teen pregnancy and parenthood are currently receiving. It is a key topic that is being discussed greatly in parliament and, also, within the media. The majority of this attention, however, is negative; which can lead to social exclusion (Duncan, Edwards and Alexander, 2010). Of social exclusion, David Byrne (1999) said that “exclusion happens all the time” and that it “determines the lives of the individuals and collectives who are excluded and those of the individuals and collectives who are not”. This has an explicit and deterministic meaning of either being led by society or being ignored by it. The issues that teen parents have with exclusion, based on what people preconceive about the issue (for example, that they obtain “emotional immaturity” and a “lack of education” (Duncan, Edwards and Alexander, 2010)), can cause them to become a hard to reach group. It is clear that, even though the government focuses greatly on prevention of teen pregnancies, there is support provided for teenage parents. It would be, perhaps, explicit to state that teen parents (like all, but few, groups in society) offer no unassailable reason to be socially excluded and that it is something that can be overcome. However, it is important to note that there are barriers that can often be faced when tackling social exclusion.

The mention of teenage parents seems to be never-ending, in terms of policy and media. A main misconception, that the media can cause people to believe, is that the number of young pregnancies has increased dramatically over the past decade; this is untrue (The Times, 1997). The, apparent, problem with today’s generation of teen parents is that they are unmarried and, in some instances, only having children to receive housing and benefits (Social Exclusion Unit, 1999). However, there is no evidence to support this view. Over the past decade the government have introduced some schemes, in order to provide support for teen parents. From these, it’s clear to understand that a top priority is helping parents, who are under the age of twenty and still in education, continue with their studies and gain their qualifications. This is led by the Care to Learn (2013) scheme, which covers the cost of childcare, for each child, whilst the parent is in school/sixth form. The scheme is continuously funded and has been found to be a great resource to many young parents. This is supported by an independent survey, carried out in 2010, which found that 73% of teen parents said that, without the support, they wouldn’t have been able to remain in education (Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2010).

On the 8th of December, BBC news (2013) reported that a US inspired scheme, regarding support for teenage parents, was going to be extended. Named The Family Nurse Partnership, the...

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