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Teen mums' hostel plan.

TEENAGE mums could be placed in hostels under radical plans being studied by Downing Street.

The controversial move would see them living in special centres equipped with childcare and job-hunting facilities.

By living together, it is hoped that vulnerable young mothers would increase their chances of finding work and feeling more involved with the community.

Housing them in hostels may also be cheaper than council or bed and breakfast accommodation.

But the proposal is likely to spark fury among some Labour MPs, fearing they could become modern-day workhouses.

Many are already furious with Home Secretary Jack Straw who last week suggested struggling single mums should have their children adopted.

A special unit set up by Tony Blair to tackle social problems is mid-way through an investigation into teenage pregnancies.

They will visit a hostel for teenage mums in Birmingham today which may be the model of a nationwide network.

But Labour MP Alice Mahon said: "This idea smacks too much of the mother and baby homes of the past."

And Maeve Sherlock, of the National Council For One Parent Families, said: "Mothers should have a choice."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 1, 1999
Words:186
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