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Society for Support to Pregnant & Parenting Teens

Supporting pregnant and parenting teens in achieving their personal best.

Sacha Balaski - Volunteer Coordinator

Having and raising a baby can be difficult at any age but more so when the parents are kids themselves.  Luckily, in Grande Prairie and surrounding area, the Society for Support to Pregnant & Parenting Teens is here to help young parents and their infants through and after pregnancy.

The non-profit agency helps teens by providing information and support to:

- Promote a healthy pregnancy

- Facilitate healthy decision making regarding pregnancy and parenting

- Maximize opportunities for education and/or training

- Gain knowledge of and access to community resources

- Foster the development of individual strengths and independence

Pregnant & Parenting Teens offers support groups and programs to help their clients; they have groups that help with pregnancy, parenting, & breastfeeding. There are programs that help with providing for the infants like ‘Books for Babies’ and an exchange program for gently used clothing, equipment and toys. Young parents being supported by the Society also have access to professional counselling sessions with Mental Health Services and are supported by a Family Support Worker who helps them set & achieve personal, educational, family or life goals. They also provide day care with the First Steps Nursery to clients attending the Bridge Network School program.

Speaking with the Society’s Volunteer Coordinator Sacha Balaski, volunteers are key to providing support to the program.  “Volunteers help out in many ways,” she states “they help in our First Steps Nursery, our Playhouse Raffle during the spring, and they serve on fundraising committees, act as board members and much more.” The Nursery currently has a great group of permanent volunteers and the Playhouse Raffle sales have reoccurring volunteers as well. But according to Sacha “The biggest challenge I find is recruiting volunteers, as many volunteers are eager to get going right away and depending on the role they are applying for that’s fine; however, if they are applying to work within the agency with the clients and children there is an extensive screening process which often can take a little while and volunteers may lose interest.”  Volunteer opportunities also vary by season at the moment volunteers are needed to assist with Playhouse Raffle ticket sales The Society is always looking to recognize and help their volunteers grow.  They offer training sessions and opportunities, specifically to the volunteers in the Nursery, such as “‘Learning and Playing through the Five Domains with Infants and Toddlers’ a two part workshop taught by Marilyn Boisvert from Stepping Stones” says Sacha. They show appreciation to volunteers with a monthly Volunteer Spotlight and occasionally nominating them for the Volunteer Recognition Programs offered by the GPVSB.

For more information about the Society for Support to Pregnant & Parenting Teens and those interested in volunteer opportunities please visit their website http://www.teenparents.ca/, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Pregnant-and-Parenting-Teens-Program-GP-195611840485162/, follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/PPTeens, or call them at 780-538-3854.

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