Entries in Youth Services (3)


The Odyssey Program (In-School Workshops for Adolescent Boys)

March 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2012. We hope you can spare a few moments to read what is new with us and how we might be able to support you and your school in bringing out the best in your boys in 2012 and beyond.

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The men from Uncle making a difference in boys' lives

A mentoring project for boys with absent fathers is struggling to stay afloat, writes Saffron Howden. When Luke Chamberlain's father died suddenly of a heart attack while surfing near Byron Bay two years ago, the nine-year-old was left with his twin sisters and a loving mother. It wasn't enough. He needed a male guide: someone to take him hiking, camping and surfing; someone to talk about cars, movies, sport and girls.

An uncle was the obvious choice - and Uncle, a unique community group that for nearly 15 years has helped hundreds of boys with absent or fickle fathers find adult male mentors, provided just that. "There's a lot of boys growing up without father figures around; some of them are slack, some of them have left, some have gone off with other women," Uncle's chief executive, Mark Gasson, said. "[Uncle is] never a replacement for a dad, but it's someone in their life that they can call and say, 'I'm having this crisis."


It's a hard road for teenage dads (NZ)

If there's a teen mum then dad's probably a teenager, too. Daniel Johns - who was a teen parent himself - is passionate as he discusses his frustration about a lack of targeted support for people who find themselves in that situation. Daniel, now 21, is helping form a support system for teen dads. He has made a flying start by being granted one of only two year-long Waitakere City Council scholarships in that area. He is using the funding to co-run two support group courses in Henderson. He says there is a real and continuing need for support tailored to teenage fathers. Teenage mothers have antenatal classes, counselling, support and coffee groups. Daniel says men can join classes but the information is mainly directed at women.