I found out very quickly that you have to advocate for yourself to get the things that you and your baby need.

About YM2

Welcome to the YM2YM Website.

This website offers information for young pregnant and parenting women and those who support them.  It is meant to provide an encouraging voice to young women and share information and resources from the Young Moms to Young Moms project.

What is Young Moms to Young Moms (YM²)?

Young Moms to Young Moms is a youth engagement program that builds on the resiliency of young pregnant and parenting women.  It emerged from a substance abuse prevention project for young pregnant and parenting women, ages 13 – 21, funded by Health Canada.  The goal of the YM² project was to prevent drug misuse by increasing young women’s confidence and coping strategies and building on their knowledge of the possible adverse health and social effects of alcohol and other drugs, using a peer-to-peer strategy.

The project has resulted in the YM² Resource Package, offering young pregnant and parenting women, and those who support them, materials and training activities to increase knowledge about alcohol and other drugs, remove stigma, build confidence and promote peer bonding.

The YM2YM project is based on a “Peer Ambassador” model. The Peer Ambassadors were young women who attended Young Parent Resource Centres in Toronto, Ontario and volunteered to help build the project resources and lead workshops for their peers.  In preparation, they were involved in consultation sessions to develop materials and activities appropriate for their peers and attended a training workshop to learn facilitation skills and to practice presenting material in the toolkit.

Initially, Young Moms to Young Moms focused on young women who attended Section 23 programs located in four Young Parent Resource Centre (YPRC) partner agencies in Toronto. Section 23 programs serve students who for a variety of reasons require their educational needs to be met outside of the regular school system in specialized settings. The YPRCs assist young pregnant women and mothers and their children through the provision of community, residential, educational, and child development services.

As the project grew and continued, the focus of the peer delivered program and the YM² Resource Package extended beyond the classroom location to include the diverse settings where young pregnant and parenting women find support and services.

Young Moms to Young Moms came about as a result of the need for a female-specific response to the unique set of factors that place young women at greater risk for substance use than their male counterparts.

Both from a review of the literature, and a needs assessment conducted with young pregnant and parenting women at the beginning of the project, we realized that a different and very specific response was needed to meet the complex needs of young women and build on their strengths as moms and moms-to-be.

YM² was designed with the involvement of young pregnant and parenting women.  They participated in the design, development, pilot testing, evaluation and full implementation of all aspects of the project, resulting in this website, an interactive peer-delivered workshop and a Resource Package that can be used to reach young women across Canada.

 An evaluation of the Young Moms to Young Moms project demonstrated that the peer-delivered program was well received and that young women who participated in the program developed a number of skills through this model.  These skills include an increased capacity to avoid drugs, development of cooperation and communication skills and improved self confidence. As well, young women felt more knowledgeable about where to where to find information about issues related to drugs.

The YM² Resource Package is a collection of materials that can be used to support and encourage young pregnant and parenting women as well as facilitate group activities in a variety of settings, including schools and community-based organizations.

The central component of the Tool Kit is the Peer Ambassador Manual with a Peer Ambassador Presentation Kit.  Both the Manual and the Kit can be downloaded from the website and used “as is” or in a format that works for a particular group.  It can also be ordered in printed manual form.

Other supporting materials in the Package include the Young Moms Are Moving Forward poster and the Phenomenal Woman poster.  Both can be downloaded from the website or ordered in printed format.

Finally, there is the Young, Pregnant and in Control: Making Healthy Choices for You and Your Baby pamphlet.  This 16-page brochure can be ordered on its own or as part of the Resource Package.

Share your thoughts…..

Tell us what you think of the website – share your experiences as a young pregnant or parenting woman or someone who offers support – tell us how you have used Tool Kit – WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

YM2YM Video

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