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Gordon Browns plans for 16 & 17 year old mums?

(89 Posts)
BrokenBananaTantrum Tue 29-Sep-09 15:07:58

I am watching Gordons speech and he has just said that 16 and 17 year old mums will now not be given council houses and left on there own but will need to go and live in supervised houses.

What do we think about this??

AMumInScotland Tue 29-Sep-09 15:13:10

How many actually get council houses on their own at the moment? And what do they mean by "supervised houses"? To an extent I'd agree that getting pregnant shouldn't automatically give you your own place, but equally I don't think they should be "punished" when they are old enough by law to have sex and leave home.

JeffVadar Tue 29-Sep-09 15:31:20

I think it sounds quite a nice idea. There may be 16 or 17 year old mums who have no parents, or who are not able to live at home. To give them the option to live with their babies in a supportive environment, and allow them to continue in education or training would probably be much better than sticking them on their own in a grotty council flat.

I can imagine that in practice it could well turn out to be awful though...

atlantis Tue 29-Sep-09 15:35:05

Sounds like an easy way to procure babies for adoption as per the 50's and 60's when mums went to live with the nuns and the church sold on the babies.

I hope i'm wrong, but this is labour and they made a point of saying that children should be identified in the womb...

Scorps Tue 29-Sep-09 15:36:58

I had a baby at 17 (was pregnant at 16) and this supported housing would not have been nessecary for me, but it would have benefitted other mothers i knew of that age.

We have a scheme like this nearby, and AFAIK, it does work.

LauraIngallsWilder Tue 29-Sep-09 15:37:56

I think its quite a good idea - that way they would hopefully get support in how to look after their children and learn skills such as cooking good food etc

nappyaddict Tue 29-Sep-09 15:42:37

Is this just for single mums or those who are living with partners?

Cluckadoodledoo Tue 29-Sep-09 15:44:11

It stinks to me of the old Mother and baby homes of the 60's which were horrid!

I guess most people have forgotton about them? Will be one step up from a bail hostel.

TheMightyToosh Tue 29-Sep-09 15:50:21

At this risk of being flamed, I think this is meant to serve as a deterrant to stop young people having babies that they can't provide a roof and four walls for.

That sounds like a good idea to me.

Bleh Tue 29-Sep-09 15:53:26

I think that it could be a good idea, if administered properly - for some girls they are trying to escape their parents/a horrible home situation, so maybe being able to go somewhere with other girls in a similar situation and adequate support will be beneficial (rather than living on their own, with little support). Yes, it is reminiscent of the mother's homes from the 60s, but it doesn't have to be that way.

SardineQueen Tue 29-Sep-09 15:54:48

Ditto nappyaddict - will the fathers go and live in these places as well? Or is it just for single mums and the assumption is that all 16 and 17 year olds who have babies are single mums?hmm

On the face of it it could be quite good - you could put childcare and things in place so that the mothers (and/or fathers?) could carry on their education if they wanted, offer other types of training etc. It could be like a posh boarding school with loads of support for those who needed it - had nowhere else to go etc.

But there is something a bit sinister about it for some reason. it could be nice, but it wouldn't be I'm sure. Girls living there would be sigmatised maybe? A bit like the old homes for unmarried mothers?

And it would be a question of would they be there for people who wanted them, or would it be forced in some way.

PixiNanny Tue 29-Sep-09 15:54:55

I can see the good points and bad points. good points is the support, the prevention of girls having children just to get the houses (Most of my year group gr) and so on. However, bad points, if I got pregnant by accident at 16/17, I would not want to share accomodation with my peers who were getting pregnant on purpose. They are mostly vile and nasty young women

TheMightyToosh Tue 29-Sep-09 15:59:45

Agree PixiNanny - girls get pregnant just to get houses here too. And then they have more babies to get bigger houses.

I think things need to be a bit tougher to stop babies being a career move for many girls of this age-group.

Of course, there are people who choose to and can afford to have children this early, and that is fair enough - those people won't be affected by this as they can pay their own way. But the state is too quick to look after these girls who do it as a way out of having to get a job, and there is not deterrant there at the moment.

It would of course need to be implemented in such as way as to not serve as a punishment to those who were genuine, but to put off those who were doing it on purpose for their own gain.

PixiNanny Tue 29-Sep-09 16:17:57

MightToosh: Ditto the having more for bigger houses thing! It's disgusting, and my peers (being the girls I went to school with) all dump their kids on their parents so they can go spend money at the pub every night getting wasted, or they bring the children to the pub with them and ignore them for 5/6 hours

Things do need to get tough, and if communal living deters girls from the idea, whilst supporting those who need the help, then I'm for it. Very few of my peers who have kids done it either a) accidentally and now work/study to get out of the benefits system or b) planned it when financialy stable. It really annoys me that they get away with neglecting their kids who are just pawns to them, it's so sad. Tis country cushions people way too much and it gets taken advantage of, so many people need the support that is instead given to others who abuse it, and those who do want to do something with their lives and need help for a flat are told to just go and get pregnant before they ask again! It's ridiculous.

TheMightyToosh Tue 29-Sep-09 16:25:51

Yup Pixi - and the kids were never wanted in the first place, so they end up being totally neglected, and end up running riot instead of being properly parented (is that a word - it should be!)

I hear you, cos it happens all around me where I live.

And yet I, who worked bloody hard to get a good education and a good job, hat to wait til my 30s to be able to afford to take the time off work to have children, and then to afford to house and clothe them, while these girls get everything for free.

So unfair and it definitely needs to change, otherwise we will be over-run with their offspring, who are have grown up with no love and no discipline. Scary. sad

RubysReturn Tue 29-Sep-09 16:30:15

One of those ideas that could be fab or terrible imo. Depends on the execution

Scorps Tue 29-Sep-09 16:30:36

I am sad that you are tarring us all with the same brush.

TheMightyToosh Tue 29-Sep-09 16:37:00

Who is tarring everyone with the same brush, Scorps?

Scorps Tue 29-Sep-09 16:39:24

Posters are generalising, using sweeping statements.

We certainly do not all live in council property, live off of state handouts, or are single, constantly looking for a bigger house. Neither do we all rely on others for our childcare, whilst we go to the pub.

Yes, i totally appreciate some do, but some don't. I get a little fed up of people putting teenage parents, mothers, into one category.

Mamazon Tue 29-Sep-09 16:42:16

By supervised hostels i would imagine he means jolly great buildings where each mum and baby get a studio flat (what we would call a bedsit) of their own and there would be staff on duty at all times.

It is a good idea. except first of all they need to build all of these homes, then they need to find staff to operate them.
It is far too expensive and they will just end up farmed out to B&B accomodation the same as they are now.

and no, most 16 year old mum's do not get given a council house. they are placed in temporary housing for a long time until they get to the top of teh housing list as a parent with child. the age of the mother is not a consideration.

This is just a cheap attempt to win back some of the right wing votes from the BNP loving DM reading morons

TheMightyToosh Tue 29-Sep-09 16:47:38

Scorps - sorry if you've taken offense, non meant from me. I think Pixi and I in our little sideline convo have both been clear that we are talking about a distinct section of society, and we have both mentioned the other side of things, i.e. those who genuinely either need the extra help or did not get pregnant at 17 just to get a free flat.

I am talking from personal experience, so is Pixi I believe. They aren't generalized statements, they are statements of fact about certain members of society.

If you are not one of those people, then there is no need for you to take it personally, because it is clearly not directed at you.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 29-Sep-09 16:49:56

Very very unusual for a 16/17yr old single parent to be given a house. Room in a dodgy "hotel" alongside the drug addicts and alcoholics more likely, then if they're lucky after a couple of months there they'll be moved on to a dingy little 2 bedroom flat. And even that only happens if they're actually homeless (ie their parents have officially written to say that they've kicked them out).

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 29-Sep-09 16:50:46

I had dd at 17. I however was working and went back to work when she was 4 months old, when my maternity pay ended. Been a working mother for 13 years (obviously at the detriment to her health, ref. other threads!)

Never once have I seen or heard of people getting pregnant at a young age to get housing. I am not living in a naive cloud cuckoo land, I grew up in a rough area, however this is something which I believe is an urban myth which has been created by Daily Mail/Closer magazine 'journalists'.

I do not necessarilty believe that young mothers will be raising scum of the earth children, or that 'we will be over-run with their offspring' al la MightToosh's enlightened post.

Of course there are areas of distinct deprivation, and there does need to be more input in an ideal world. I do not think that housing and stigmatising a section of young mothers like this is the answer, and I certainly don't think it is workable in practice.

wannaBe Tue 29-Sep-09 16:57:04

I think it could be a good idea. Also to whoever said that girls would end up stigmatised, is that necessarily such a bad thing? Obviously for the girls in the position it would be, but it would perhaps deter more girls from getting pregnant for fear they would end up in such a hostel.

Currently getting pregnant as a teen is viewed far too positively imo. I'm not saying go back to the 60s where girls were forced to give their babies up for adoption, but there needs to be some middle ground between there and the situation we are in now where teenage parents are embraced by society. Getting pregnant at sixteen (or younger) is not something to be proud of, and maybe if it was seen as less acceptable and stimatised a bit more young girls would think twice before having unprotected sex.

And no, I don't believe that we have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world due to bad education or a high rate of contraception failure..

<<prepares to be flamed>>

wannaBe Tue 29-Sep-09 17:00:55

Getorf my mum used to work in a dr's surgery and they had several patients who planned their babies to get a bigger council house. Would happily sit in the waiting room talking about it.

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