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Helping New Brunswickers Know the Law

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Rights and Responsibilities of Young Parents: Information - COMPLETED

In 2005-2006, PLEIS received project funding from Justice Canada to work with the VON and parenting groups across the province to produce a comprehensive handbook about responsible parenting issues for young parents.  We conducted focus groups with teen mothers- and fathers-to-be, and with parenting groups and young parents, to identify information gaps relating to rights and responsibilities of parents. These youth also reviewed draft versions of this guide as did professionals from Health and Wellness, Family and Community Services and other government departments. The resulting handbook, "Parenting: Rights and Responsibilities of Young Parents” has been extremely popular and well-used by service providers working with pregnant teens and young parents.

In 2006-2007, PLEIS received funding from Justice Canada to offer 13 law information workshops around the province for young parents and parents-to-be and for the service providers who work with these young people. The workshops were based on the new handbook.  The workshops elaborated on the law information in the booklet. Service providers were invited to review a menu of topics which focussed on some of the issues flagged in the booklet (paternity issues, child support issues, custody and access issues, disciplining children, child protect, etc.). They then selected the two topics of greatest interest.

Each workshop was about 2 hours in length which also allowed us to provide supplementary resources, referrals and explanations that enhanced the ability of the service providers to use the booklet with their clients. The sessions with young parents and pregnant teens explored common myths about the rights and responsibilities of parents, while emphasizing the entitlement of the child.  The workshops for young people offered greater detail on certain law information topics and provide numerous tips on tracking down information and getting help.  This approach, in combination with the parenting booklet, helped to promote responsible parenting and the evaluations of the session were extremely positive with numerous requests for more sessions in the future.


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