Prevent Child Abuse Arizona staff support YPU by offering childcare.

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona staff members work behind the scenes at the 2024 Young Parent University.

It’s often said that parenting doesn’t come with a manual. And frankly, who has the time to sift through one anyway? When you’re knee-deep in toddler tantrums or trying to decipher the workings of a new household gadget, parents are way more likely to seek advice from peers than wade through a sea of black and white text and diagrams. We all know that parenting is not black and white!

Enter the colorful benefits of the 2024 Young Parent University (YPU), brought to you by Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and the Department of Child Safety Office of Prevention. On Saturday, April 6, YPU hosted dozens of teen parents for a day of connection, education, and FREE STUFF! Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a goodie bag? All participants left with a backpack brimming with useful treasures: a Chromebook loaded with Triple P Positive Parenting courses, a parenting book, children’s books, a planner, a workbook, and several must-have children’s items.

But it wasn’t all about the swag. These parents also got down to business with workshops covering everything from budgeting to baby massage. YPU provided free child care so parents could fully engage with the material and feel prepared to implement what they learned about personal finance, parent engagement, and building strong attachments with their kids.

The success of YPU speaks volumes. With 100% of attendees rating the event as “Good” or “Excellent,” it’s clear that the need for such support is there and that support is deeply valued.

As we reflect on the impact of events like YPU, let’s not forget the underlying message: We are not meant to embark on the journey of parenting alone. Let’s acknowledge parents ‘resilience and strength, recognizing that every step they take is a testament to their unwavering commitment to their children’s well-being.

So here’s to the next YPU—and to all the young parents out there: We see you. We salute you. And we stand beside you, ready to support you every step of the way.