Our first meeting of the Parent Club, hosted by Tracey Brennan and Mark Kime, was held today at the ROC centre in Chelston, and what a fantastic turn out we had – lots of familiar and new faces discussing what makes them feel safe, happy, cared for and healthy. Sue Mathews, Independent Consultant working on behalf of the 0-19 Commissioning Consultation for Children’s Services and the CCG, came along to meet and listen to parents.
Our experience tells us that family plans and activities are far more likely to work when people have an active involvement in them. To create a partnership with children, parents and communities we set up the SWFV Parent Participation Service, in which parents are involved and consulted in the planning, design and evaluation of services, so that all our service users have an opportunity to sign up to the Parent Club and join the SWFV Parent Participation Panel.
Mark and Tracey were careful to ensure that the Parent Participation Panel met in a safe and inclusive environment where parents felt supported to share their varied experience and knowledge and express their views and concerns. Their ‘non-expert’, collaborative approach enabled all the parents’ views and ideas to be listened to with the aim of being acted upon, as appropriate.
The Panel looked at four key areas identified in our Social Impact plan: Health, Safety, Happiness and Feeling Cared For.
Some Key themes were identified:
- The importance of schools in accessing support
- The value of parent groups in reducing a sense of isolation, normalising parenting problems, gaining friendship and improving confidence.
- The desire to be outdoors exploring the environment with their family, with a focus on play and positive parenting.
Everyone agreed it was a very positive start in identifying some key areas for the panel to focus on and develop action plans to move the ideas forward.
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Mark and Tracey discussing feedback from parent participation panel
BLOG BY TRACEY BRENNAN AND MARK KIME