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Leading the Victorian Pregnancy and Homelessness Network

Birth for Humankind

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area
Australia
Metro

Project Description

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.

Expected Outcomes

The multiyear project aims are to:

  • Improve data collection processes of pregnant homeless people to inform policy and system development.
  • Ensure pregnancy is considered a critical factor for determining access to housing and support.
  • Identify gender-specific policies and practices that address the unique needs of pregnant people when accessing housing support and health care.
  • Improve the provision of safe and stable housing and support networks.
  • Improve access to wrap-around and continuity-of-care models in hospitals and other health settings.
  • Improve the skills and knowledge of homelessness and housing service workers and healthcare clinicians to provide specialist care to clients impacted by homelessness.
  • Build cross-sector collaboration across homelessness, maternity, sexual reproductive health, drug and alcohol and child protection services to enhance the sharing of information and improved system responses and referral pathways.

 

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:

  • The development of e-learning modules.
  • Establish and implement an income generation strategy.
  • Provide governance, operations and administrative support.
  • Provide secretariat support to the Network’s coordinating group.
  • Mapping of organisations/services supporting pregnant people experiencing homelessness

Project Data & Lessons

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:

  • Network consultations and meetings to gather views, knowledge and understanding of project activities.
  • Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion (For annual review only) with Network members to assess efficiency and effectiveness of the Network in meeting its objectives.
  • Survey/s of members and community organisations to gather evidence of the effectiveness of modules developed and other issues requiring consideration for services to enhance their expertise in working with homeless pregnant women.
  • Documentation and analysis of reach achieved through the E-Learning modules on-line training.

Project Dates

Update
Establishment of this project will commence when funding is secured – the Pregnancy and Homelessness Network Victoria will continue to operate voluntarily until then.

Funding Details

$160,062
Funding Needed
$0
Current Funding
$160,062
Total Project Costs
0
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Mercy Foundation (pending application)
Other Support Opportunities
In-kind contributions, Pro bono services

Organisation Details

Birth for Humankind
ABN: Shape75 605 254 340

Contact

Jess Sartori
Phone: 1300073086

About Birth for Humankind

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:

  • Doula support – Skilled volunteer doulas (birth support professionals) provide free personalised practical and emotional during pregnancy and early parenting.
  • Doula training – Our doula training is building a culturally diverse and trauma-informed maternity support workforce and contributing to improving equitable maternal care for all women and birthing people. It provides participants with professional training and development opportunities, workplace experience and pathways to employment. Scholarships are available for people with diverse cultural backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
  • Research and advocacy – Through our programmatic impact and evaluation, advocacy, and partnerships, we drive systemic change and improve maternal health equity.

 

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