On May 26th the United Way of Greater Victoria announced a grant of over $7,000 of Innovation and Investment Funding to support the expansion of The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program.

The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program (YPOP) supports young moms (ages 16 to 24 years) to create stable, safe, healthy lives for themselves and their children.  This funding will allow the program to expand and serve ten additional clients.

In June of 2010 The Cridge Centre for the Family closed its supported daycare for young parents at Victoria High School due to lack of funding. One month later, with the children, staff and parents from that defunct service incorporated into The Cridge Childcare Centre, The Cridge Centre launched The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program — a portable, practical program of support and advocacy for young moms and dads, young parents to be, and their children from across the capital region.

A year later, Young Parent Support Worker Nicole Andrews supports more than 26 clients and their children, promotes the program, and connects with other service providers in the region to ensure young parents have access to a full slate of services. The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program is already highly regarded in the broader Victoria community as an effective, self-directed support program for young parents.

The Cridge YPOP provides responsive support that is entirely client directed and is not restricted to young parents from any one school, childcare centre or agency. This is a different model of service to young parents than is offered by the supported daycare model.

The generous funding from the United Way of Greater Victoria will allow us to extend this support to more parents, making a significant difference in the lives of young parents and their children.