Programme scolaire adapté pour les mères adolescentes et leurs enfants (PSAME)

Also known as Un bébé… et un sac d'école (a baby… and a schoolbag)

Supported by the Foundation from 2003 to 2008

PsameAs adolescent motherhood often results in dropping out of school, teenage mothers are undereducated and often live in poverty. They are also more likely to be single parents, receive welfare and lack experience in adequate parenting practices.

In 2003, there were 100 births per year among adolescents from 15 to 19 in the territory covered by the CLSC Verdun/Côte St-Paul in Montreal. That figure translates into 42 births for every 1,000 young women in that age bracket, or almost three times the Quebec average.

Working in partnership with various community and government organizations, the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board had set up a Programme scolaire adapté pour les mères adolescentes et leurs enfants (a special school program for teenage mothers and their children), commonly known as "PSAME." This program enabled adolescent girls from 12 to 18 in the area covered by the school board who were pregnant or who had already given birth to attend a secondary school in their neighbourhood that provided on-site daycare.

The Foundation's contribution helped to cover a portion of the costs of hiring a coordinator responsible for providing support for mothers participating in the program, organizing parent support activities and liaising with teachers and other professionals involved in the program, and hiring daycare technicians to care for the children of the mothers in the program.

The objectives of the program were to:

  • promote the academic and social adaptation of teenage mothers
  • help them to develop parenting skills
  • provide a stimulating daycare facility for their children
  • strengthen the mother-child bond.

The project's originality lay in the fact that academic and support services were both offered in the young mothers' milieu. Today, as needs have evolved, the school concentrates more on preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, raising awareness about hypersexualization, talking to teens about what constitutes a healthy, harmonious relationship, and developing their self-esteem in general.

During the years covered by the program, 50 young girls and their babies benefited from the Programme scolaire adapté pour les mères adolescentes et leurs enfants, and 11 of them obtained their secondary school diploma.

We believe

"We believe" is a short video that uses images to illustrate our constantly renewed desire to prevent poverty for the good of future generations in Quebec.

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