Engaging on the 'front line': exploring how family support teams construct meaning in their work with young mothers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper explores the provision of family support services for young mothers within a Sure Start Children's Centre, drawing on data collected within a larger study. It identifies how the family support team attempted to build supportive relationships with young mothers between the ages of 16 and 19 years. The findings presented here draw on narrative interviews (n = 10) and focus group interviews (n = 2) with the family support team that included early years workers, family support workers and their managers. The findings captured how the participants actively resisted the stigma (Goffman 1963) of teenage motherhood in order to support young mothers in gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to care for their child. Drawing on the findings, this paper argues that the building of a supportive relationship enables a young mother to construct positive counter‐narratives about her parenting experience. This suggests that the family \to offer informal early support to young mothers who are at risk of more formal intervention. However, the complexity of this task should not be underestimated because in doing this, the family support team must at all times ensure the well‐being and safety of the child.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    JournalChild and Family Social Work
    Volume22
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016

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