If you are a teenager expecting a baby a lot of your questions and concerns will be the same as any other expectant parent, so it will be helpful for you to read the other relevant pages on our website.
This section provides information about additional services for teenage parents.
Most antenatal clinics provide a specialist midwife for teenage parents.
Support during pregnancy
- Some Children’s Centres offer antenatal support for young parents. It is worth phoning your local Children’s Centre to see what they offer. There is a full list of Wiltshire Children’s Centres on our website.
- The National Childbirth Trust also run antenatal classes. There is usually a charge for these but they may reduce this if you have a low income. Phone 0300 3300770 for more details.
- Home-Start offer support to parents in South and East Wiltshire area. 01980 676237 (South) or 01672 569457 (East) for more information.
Benefits during Pregnancy
Healthy Start Vouchers – these are available for all under 18s who are pregnant and over 18s if they are on certain benefits. They provide free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins for you during your pregnancy. Phone 0845 607 6823 for more information.
Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and Income Support - If you are not working you may be able to claim JSA up till the 29th week of pregnancy and Income Support after this time. If you are under 18 you will need to talk to the Under 18s Advisor at your local Job Centre Plus. If you are living with a partner their income will be taken into account when calculating your benefits. If you are under 18 and living with your parents their income may also be taken into account. If in doubt phone Job Centre Plus New Claims Line 0800 055 6688 for clarification.
Sure Start Maternity Grant (£500) – If you are expecting your first baby and you or your partner are receiving Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based) or Working Tax Credits with a Disability Element you can apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant when you reach the 29th week of your pregnancy. If you cannot get this grant during your pregnancy and you are on a low income you may be able to claim after your baby has been born.
Support after your baby has been born
- Your Health Visitor will visit you at home soon after your baby is born. They will run regular clinics where you can have your baby weighed and discuss any problems or concerns.
- Home-Start offer support to families in South and East Wiltshire. Phone 01672 569457 (East) or 01980 676237 (South) for more information.
- Your local Children’s Centre will offer drop in groups or may be able to offer one to one support in your own home.
- You can phone the ask helpline 08457 585072.
Getting out and about
All parents can feel a bit lonely and isolated at home. It is good for you and helpful for your baby’s development to meet with other parents and babies.
You could join your local Children’s Centre, go to a Parent and Toddler group or try an activity such as Rhyme Time at your local library. Some of these may have a charge but many are free. See our Parent and Toddler pages, Children’s Centre pages and Activities pages to find out what is happening near you. If you want to talk to anyone about places to go with your baby phone ask on 08457 585 072.
Thinking about your future
If you want to complete qualifications you started at school or maybe start something completely new, having a baby does not have to hold you back.
If you want to learn about your baby’s development and how to be the best parent you can be you could do a course specifically for young parents such as Young Mums to be or Positive Parenting run by Learning Curve. These are held at various locations around Wiltshire. You can get more information from your Children's Centre. If you want to discuss your education or career prospects you could phone the the Young Person's Career Service on 080 800 13219.
If you are returning to work or college you can choose to use any pre-school, nursery or childminder. Wiltshire Council can provide you with local lists. They can also direct you to childminders who have experience of working for teenage parents and would be prepared to give you any extra support you may need. Phone Wiltshire Council's Childcare Information Helpline on 0300 003 4561 for more information.
Benefits you can claim after your baby has been born
Make sure you have registered your baby’s birth before claiming benefits for him/her.
Income Support – If you are a single parent over 16, even if you are living with your parents, you can claim Income Support. Phone 0800 055 6688.
Working Tax Credit – If you are over 16 and are a lone parent working 16 hours per week or if you are part of a couple and work 24 hours per week between you, with one of you working at least 16 hours per week you may get this benefit. Remember that if you are on Maternity Leave you count as a working person. Phone 0845 300 3900.
Child Tax Credit – If you are over 16 you will probably get some Child Tax Credit. The amount you get depends on your income. Phone 0845 300 3900.
Healthy Start Vouchers – If you are receiving Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based) you can claim these vouchers for milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins. Phone 0845 607 6823.
Sure Start Maternity Grant – This £500 grant can only be claimed for your first baby. If you did not get this grant when you were pregnant, you may be entitled to it now even if you or your partner are working. You must claim before your baby is 3 months old. Phone ask on 08457 585072 to find out if you are eligible.
If you are under 16 whoever is caring for you and your baby may be able to claim these benefits for you.
All teenage parents including those under 16 can claim:
- Child Benefit– phone 0845 302 1444
- Care To Learn – If you are under 20 and want to return to school or college you can apply for this grant to pay for your childcare. Phone 0845 600 2809.
There is more information on all these benefits on our finance pages.
Housing and Housing Benefit
If you have no income or are on a low income with little or no savings you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent. Contact Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0100 for more information about Housing Benefit.
You cannot be housed independently if you are under 16. If you need to leave your family home Social Services would place you with a foster family.
You may choose to:
- Stay at home with your parents.
- Put yourself on Wiltshire’s Housing Register, if you are under 18 you will need a guarantor and a support plan. Wiltshire Council can provide you with advice and further information on your choices at this stage. Contact them on 0300 456 0100.
- If you go on Wiltshire’s Housing Register you will be placed in a band which is determined by your level of need. The higher the band the quicker and easier it will be to find a suitable property. Once you have a band you can look at available properties on www.homes4wiltshire.co.uk
- Find privately rented property. You will probably need a guarantor if you are under 18 to allow you to take on this kind of accommodation. You will also need to provide a deposit, usually the first months rent. You can look on www.homes4wiltshire.co.uk or www.rightmove.co.uk or look in your local paper.
- Consider part ownership. You will need a good income to consider this option.
Housing support will normally be offered to all 16 and 17 year olds who are looking for housing through Wiltshire Council. Over 18s may also be offered a support package if they are considered more vulnerable.
Support may include:
- one to one weekly meetings;
- housing advice;
- life skills training;
- preparation for being able to sustain a tenancy without support (Wiltshire Council will be able to advise you further).
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness through no fault of your own Wiltshire Council may be able to house you immediately but this may be in a hostel or temporary accommodation depending on your circumstances. Contact Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0100 for more information.