Skip links

Kayla-Tess Pattenden

Hi, I’m Kayla-Tess (she, her) – mom of two, wife to one, passionate social worker, committed Jesus-follower and proud South African. I spend my days in the private school and private practice sectors advocating for preventative life skills education, policy reform, consulting on statutory family and diversity and inclusion matters, and counselling teens and couples. I absolutely love what I do and believe that my capacity widened when I became a mom as did my empathy and active listening skills. I therefore have my #momlife to thank for the audacity I have to create change!

When I am not at work you can find me holidaying with my family with me in a hot tub, book in one hand, gin and tonic in the other! I advocate for female sexual health and pleasure in my couples work through additional training in sex therapy (can I get an ‘amen’ to good sex?). I also encounter maternal mental health challenges and parent-child attachment struggles in my practice quite regularly and am equipped to walk fellow moms through their journey too.

Personally however, my family are committed to a concept we term, ‘maternal mentorship’ – housing mom & child until mom is equipped and stable enough to independently and sustainably live and parent. In December 2021 we saw the first mom and child duo successfully transition out of our home to independent living, having stayed with us for a year and a half. We believe more of this approach is necessary – equipping and ‘reparenting’ our mammas rather than removing their children from them without sufficient support for their ‘growth’ journey, allowing them to reunify with their children. For a more comprehensive ‘brag’ about myself, visit my website.

Being a Mamandla Fellow/Alumni means a greater proximity to relational diversity which in South Africa we so need to really experience true ‘ubuntu’. It also meant a network of support to reach into (and sometimes moan and cry without judgement). We really are stronger together.

KAYLA-tess pattenden