Alt education centre opens doors

Alternative education centre opens doors to all young parents
Posted on 11/28/2023
Jeanne Scott Resource Centre

A new inclusive model implemented at the Jeanne Scott Parent and Child Resource Centre is ensuring all young parents have access to education and support.

In partnership with the Good Shepherd Centres Hamilton, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board operates the Jeanne Scott Parent & Child Resource Centre, an adult credit school for young parents aged 18-25 who are working towards completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

The school’s aim is to help break the cycle of poverty by bettering the students’ chances of employment and independence through education.

Traditionally, the school focused solely on young mothers, however this year, the school opened its doors to all parents.

“The new inclusive model responds to the changing needs in our community, which have shown that the challenges associated with young parenthood – which include education and employment barriers, childcare shortages, and lack of access to programming and other resources – are not gender specific in nature,” said teacher Kara Savas.

“Supporting young parents in overcoming these challenges through education and programming is key to supporting healthy parenting, independence, and helping keep families together.”

“Moving to this model opens up the supports and resources to all young parenting individuals so that they may equally benefit from completing their education in an environment that supports their efforts to be healthy, engaged, and productive parents and citizens.”

As part of this support, free on-site child-minding services are available at the centre to allow students to focus on their studies while in class. Parents with identified needs are also able to enroll in a transitional housing program which allows them and their child(ren) to live next door at Regina’s Place in one of the provided units.

In addition to the alternative education school, young parents have the opportunity to participate in programming based on their personal needs and strengths. These programs help young parents to continue to build life skills and increase parenting abilities.

Programs include:

• Cooking/community gardening
• Health & nutrition
• Chaplaincy and faith-based exercises
• Infant bonding and attachment
• Budgeting
• Ontario Works support
• Housing support
• Clothing and household Items
• Lunch provided in-school to students and children
• Post-secondary pathway planning, guidance counsellor support, pre-employment counselling
• Crisis support and management
• Public Health support
• LEAP (Learning, Earning and Parenting)
• Alternatives for Youth – substance use and mental health services
• Mental health clinician support
• Recreation and experiential education opportunities

Any young parents aged 18-25 who are interested in registering to complete their OSSD credits at the Jeanne Scott Parent and Child Resource Centre can do so by contacting (905) 549-4276 to book an intake appointment. Registrations take place throughout the school year.

To learn more about the staff supports at the Jeanne Scott Resource Centre/Regina's Place, please click here.