chapter  10
19 Pages

Dialogue, Listening and Discernment in Professional Practice with Parents and their Children in an Infant Program: A Canadian Perspective


This paper is based on the work in a young parent program in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1972, Girls’ Alternative Program (GAP) was created to provide a venue for young women who did not “fi t in” to the regular high school setting. At fi rst, the program was run out of a series of houses operating with meager resources. Eventually, it gained credibility and moved into a small vacant school building with a staff of counselors and teachers. In the early 1980s, another element was added to the program for young women who became pregnant during their high school years, called Options for Pregnant Teens. The girls (the term ‘girls’ has always been used despite a strong feminist awareness within the program) continued to come to their regular school bringing their infants with them until it became too diffi cult for them to focus on their studies, at which time they dropped out. With the addition of Options Child and Family Centre in 1989, girls could continue their educational program with their babies and toddlers close by.