New parents' hub set to be launched
A hub will be set up to help parents in Barnet affected by poor mental health, relationship difficulties and addictions.
The service, which will be based at The Hyde Children’s Centre and Primary School in Hendon, will help parents develop secure and healthy relationships with their children, according to a council report.
Due to launch in June, it will work with children at risk of entry into care and provide more support to families accessing early help services.
The plans were revealed during a meeting of the children, education and safeguarding committee on Wednesday.
Tina McElligot, the council’s family services director, told councillors: “The idea of the hub is to deliver highly specialised interventions for families who are not making the changes we would like them to through our ordinary range of parenting interventions.
“It is building upon the model that the Anna Freud Centre set up in their early years parenting unit, and it’s closely aligned to the Early Intervention Foundation evidence base, which is that intervening early in the child’s life, particularly the critical stages of attachment between the ages of nought and two, is essential to good, healthy child development.”
Another scheme, funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac), involved creating “parenting champions” who support parents in their area, offering advice and guidance and discussing local services.
The initiative was run in partnership with the charity Khulisa.
Tina said the charity engaged with 100 parents from Grahame Park in the west of the borough who were representative of marginalised communities, whose children could be at risk of crime or exploitation.
Sixteen of these parents would become parent champions, she added.
Tina said: “They will be joining with us in doing some work around advocacy, recruiting other parents and training them, so it has been a really successful project, albeit short term, and we have submitted our report to Mopac now."
“We are hoping that we can look at ways to incorporate the recommendations and findings of that report into our 0-19 work, our parenting hub and any other parenting activities we have got going on this year.”
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