Youth Development – Article by Diana Whitmore
‘Teens & Toddlers’ is an innovative and effective youth development, sexual health and teenage pregnancy prevention programme, which identifies at risk young people and gives them work experience in a nursery environment. Teens take responsibility for mentoring and building a relationship with a challenging small child, while being supported, through training and individual counselling, to gain a better understanding of the huge responsibility involved in having a child. Highly experienced facilitators help vulnerable young people develop their own skills, confidence and outlook on life, as well as their understanding about sexual health and relationships. The programme has been independently evaluated and proven to be effective and has been endorsed by the DCSF, DoH, Social Exclusion Unit and Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit as a well evaluated targeted intervention. The most recent retrospective study demonstrates that 96.8% of graduates from Teens & Toddlers programs did not become pregnant or cause a pregnancy under the age of 18 years.