Archive for November, 2009

New online resources for up to 5 million mums, dads, carers and grandparents

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

DCSF logo_smallDawn Primarolo, Minister for Children, Young People and Families, today announced three new pilot projects to help up to five million mums, dads, carers and grandparents get important parenting information support and guidance. This will be an invaluable resource for social work and hopefully draw together the wealth of information that is currently located on many websites.

The Parent Know How Innovation Fund has created the three pilot projects, as recent research showed that 80 per cent of parents reported they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the information or support provided by existing Parent Know How services. These latest additions to these services will launch in January and will join a range of other telephone helpline and innovative services available to mums, dads, carers and grandparents to ensure that wherever they look for information, they receive coherent advice from respected sources.

Dawn Primarolo said: “We are committed to finding innovative ways of getting information out to families including grandparents. Through Parent Know How, we fund a number of organisations to reach out to parents and carers and I am delighted that we are developing three new services. I am particularly pleased that we are supporting organisations that will provide online information for grandparents with childcare responsibilities.

“Parent Know How is about pulling together relevant information into one convenient place. Parents, carers and grandparents will now have access to advice and support where and when they need it to help them achieve the best for the children in their care.”

The Parent Know How Innovation Fund was designed to explore and expand the routes available to parents to access information, support and advice from parenting experts or from other parents. The three new pilots, which will run until March 2011, could reach almost 5 million people. They are:

beGrand.net – A new web-service to give grandparents a voice, support the development of grandparent communities, increase support for grandparents caring for children, increase contact between grandchildren and grandparents and improve grandparents’ parenting skills.

Parenting On Demand – Aims to develop and syndicate online videos designed to support parents/carers of children aged 5-19. The service will create a range of short video clips which will provide information and advice on a range of topics including learning, behaviour and wellbeing. The videos will also refer to other sources and services.

Relate for Parents – A new relationship support service from Relate. It will aim to develop online media tools to cater for parents needs by providing advice, support, and guidance to enable them to understand and improve their family relationships, manage conflict and make change happen.

The research, Parent Know How Telephone Helplines and Innovation Strands Evaluation, can be found at: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research

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Promoting the health and well being of London’s looked after children

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

young london mattersHealth and well being are central to the quality of the lives of children in care. We know that looked after children often experience worse outcomes, particularly in what they achieve and attain, but it is also the same for many health aspects of their lives.
The Government office for London commissioned a scoping review to identify emerging practise supporting the health and well being of Looked after children, particularly around increasing access to CAMHS, Sexual Health, Immunisations and Vaccinations, Annual Health Assessments and general wellbeing. The results of the Scoping Review has been compiled into a practice guide: “Promoting the health and wellbeing of London’s looked after children – Learning from Emerging Practice”. 

Hard copies of the Guide are available from amy.wilkinson@gol.gsi.gov.uk.

This publication shares emerging good practice that is achieving positive change across London. There are a collection of case studies in the following areas:

Annual Health Assessments and Health Plans
Immunisations and Vaccinations
Access to Children and Mental Health Services
Sexual Health, Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Relationship Education
Emotional Well Being
Education Support 

There are a number of key themes which emerge which include the importance of multi-agency team work, the importance of a whole systems approach, the need for training, consultancy and support, evaluating the outcomes and impacts of activities and involving and engaging with children and young people in care.

Although the focus is London the emerging practice is applicable more widely. Do you have links with a local football club? Find out how one local authority has developed an innovative programme for young people in care with the support of Tottenham Hotspur. This is a timely and relevant resource for social work and I would encourage you to share this widely with colleagues in social work, health and education who have an interest in this important area.

You may also find it useful to look at the Young London Matters website to read the presentations from the conference held on the 16th October 2009 and a range of other resources to support the health and well being of children and young people in London.

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