Young Parents Project

The Young Parents Project began in June 2015 to focus upon the needs and experiences of young parents whose children are in need, deemed at risk, in care or adopted. The aim was to help more young parents to keep their children safely with them.

The project was a timely response to:

  • Evidence indicating that young parents with multiple needs are particularly in jeopardy of losing their children and research findings that one in four mothers whose children are subject to care proceedings faced repeat proceedings; a figure that rises to one in three for those who became mothers in their teenage years [1]
  • Family justice reforms which require speedier decisions to be made, with young parents now being required to prove their parenting capacity within shorter timescales, often without an established support network in place to help them
  • The recognition that young parents may themselves have been in the care system as children and may be particularly anxious or even distrustful of working with professionals.


[1] Study by Professor Broadhurst et al. (2015) Connecting Events in Times to Identify a Hidden Population: Birth Mothers and Their Children in Recurrent Care Proceedings in England in British Journal of Social Work (2015) 45, 2241-2260. And subsequent unpublished data from the study.

The project has been funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and by Tudor Trust and steered by an advisory group made up of young parents, practitioners and academics.

The project has:

  • Developed a Young Parents Panel designed to give young parents a national voice with decision-makers
  • Provided specialist training to individuals within youth organisations to equip them to be able advocates for young parents within the child protection system
  • Developed an easy to use, mobile accessible, young parents’ advice website to help young parents understand their rights and options and get the support that they need for their children
  • Published a project report launched at a national conference in June 2016 which included findings from interviews and group discussions with young parents and practitioners and suggested changes to law, policy and practice to better meet the needs of young parents and their children.

Your Family, Your Voice continues to campaign for changes to law and policy to better support young parents including those who have had a child permanently removed from their care.