Young people who grew up in the care system are around 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant compared with other teenagers. For these young people, they’re having to manage the transition to independent living along with caring for a new baby. Donna was raised in the care system having put herself in care at aged 14. 

Donna* explains: “I put myself into care at 14. I was sofa surfing and just needed a home. I didn’t know what family life looked like. A social worker came out to see me and within two weeks I was living with a foster family.”

Postnatal depression triggered childhood trauma

Donna had her first baby at 17, and two years later had her second. Donna said: “I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. It triggered all the trauma of my childhood. My health visitor asked if she could put me in touch with Home-Start for support. I was matched with Jenny, a home visiting volunteer. Jenny encouraged me to go to baby groups to help me make some friends. Jenny was wonderful, I still talk to her now. Jenny was with me for a year.

"When Jenny left I was in a much better place, but 12 months later I started to spiral downwards. I got in touch with Home-Start and once again they matched me with another amazing volunteer, Kim, who I’m also still in touch with".

Breaking the cycle

"Home-Start not only made a huge difference to me, but also to my children. Not having the best childhood can make it hard to be the parent you want to be. But Home-Start boosted my confidence and capability to be there for my children. Not that it’s been easy. My relationship broke down and I’m now a single mum. But regardless of what’s happened, my childhood has made me very protective of my children. I wanted to give them the love and security I never had.”

*Donna’s name has been changed to protect her identity due to her family’s circumstances.