Pregnant women and gender diverse birthing parents experiencing homelessness – and their children – are among the most vulnerable members of our community, yet they remain under-represented in data collection and targeted support responses.
The Pregnancy and Homelessness Network Victoria was voluntarily established in 2019 to address this injustice.
Birth for Humankind is the primary provider of free community-based doula support during pregnancy and early parenting for people facing systemic discrimination and disadvantage in Victoria.
Under the auspices of Birth for Humankind, this project seeks to scale and expand the capacity of The Pregnancy and Homelessness Network Victoria (the Network) and build on the Network’s success to date.
The Network is made up of members representing a range of specialist homelessness support, health and social services who collectively advocate for improved service outcomes for pregnant women and gender diverse birthing people and their infants impacted by homelessness. As a member organisation of the Network, Birth for Humankind contributes to this work.
The multiyear project aims are to:
Funding for Year One would allow the Network to recruit a highly a skilled Network Coordinator to establish and support a sustainable approach to management and project delivery, including:
Evidence shows, the lack of stable housing and stress of homelessness profoundly undermines women’s ability to prepare mentally and materially for the birth of a baby, as well as access to routine antenatal care.
A key focus is to prioritise actions that will create partnership and learning opportunities that build the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to secure pregnant people and infants' access to housing and healthcare support.
The research will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative research strategies including:
Birth for Humankind (BFH) is the primary provider of free community-based doula support for people facing systemic discrimination and disadvantage in Victoria. We contribute to an improved maternal health system and aim to reduce barriers people face to equitable maternity support.
We deliver free trauma-informed programs that provide continuity of support to people experiencing family violence, homelessness, perinatal depression or anxiety and social isolation as well as new migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.
Our programs and services include: