Young Parents Projects

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Young Parents Project Report May 2016

 
Click here to download the report as a PDF

This New project will provide a holistic bilingual service in a comfortable atmosphere for young parents in Gwynedd. The project seeks to address the lack of provision in disadvantaged and rural areas of the county by trying to emulate some of the principles of the Flying Start program. The will be 3 main partners in the project and by working in a consortium a variety of services and support will be offered. We will draw on the expertise of existing services to support this project. GISDA, Domestic Violence South Wales and SNAP are experienced in working with young people in their own fields.

In this innovative project, 3 peer mentors will be employed to work with the project officer to provide training, group and 1:1 sessions.

The project will also provide funding towards the cost of childcare when needed. It is a relatively small amount that is earmarked for this but we are keen that this funding will be prioritized for the most vulnerable young parents, giving priority to young parents who remain in full-time education at school. We would complete a brief assessment and then allocate the case to the Family advisor in that area. We will use our simple review system ‘STAR’ to monitor the development of the young parent during their service.

Our intention through the project will be to ensure that more young parents and their children in the county recieve more holisitc support that is tailored to their needs, which also reaches those in rural areas and thereby reduces isolation and icreases durability. We wish to do preventative work i.e. support young parents before they feel they cannot cope so they do not need further service.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhieni Ifanc Ni is a 3 year project that began in January 2014 that offers a holistic, bilingual service for Gwynedd’s young parents/ This is a partnership project between GISDA, Snap Cymru, Bangor University and De Gwynedd Domestic Abuse Service, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

A range of services and support ar offered to the young parents. Training opportunities and raising confidence, activities for the parents and their child/children and help in regards to serviced and benefits.

The aim of the project is that more parents will get the opportunity to receive a holistic service that has been tailored to the individual and to reach those in rural communities and beyond by reducing isolation and increasing resilience.

An innovative part to the project is that there are 3 peer mentor being employed to work with the project offeicer sto offer triainng, group work and 1:1 sessions. The Project officers and peer mentors ar working in the three areas of Gwynedd. Staff are located in offices in Caernarfon, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Pwllheli.

The project, when needed, will provide funding for child care costs. It’s only a small budget that has been allocated for this but we are keen for this funding to be prioritised for the most vulnerable parents and for parents who wish to continue in full time education in schools. We will complete a full and brief assessment and then allocate the case to a Family Supporter in the appropriate area. We will be using our simple review system ‘SEREN’ to monitor the young parents development during their time with the service.

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The statistics for the first period of the Rhieni Ifanc Ni has shown very positives results to the support that’s on offer to the young parents. During the first months of the project 32 young parents had support, 30 were female and 2 were male. This is a client centred project the feedback they receive from the young people is a very big element of the project.

In order for the project to get feedback regarding the support and service available, they asked the young parents to answer a few questions. Here are some of the results from the questions:

• 85% agreed that the project had raised the parent’s awareness of the services in their community.
• 90% agreed that since being part of the project that they are more confidence to join other activities in the community
• 85% believe they’ve developed new skills during the project
• 85% seen an increase in confidence during the support
• 80% believe they feel more healthy physically and mentally since been in contact with the project
• 55% believe they have a better relationship with their child.

The opportunity for parents to give feedback ensures that the project offers the highest quality of service and support. As noted earlier we do ask for feedback during the support but the project will be asking for a more formal feedback at the end of the support. The result of this feedback will be available at the end of the project’s first year.
Here are some quotes by some of the service users when we asked for feedback:
“By getting motivated to access services I feel that there is less of a barrier for me”

“Appreciated that the project worked around my needs which was good as this suited me”

“It was useful having someone pro-active to support me I making changes as well as doing practical thins such as completing forms and supporting with phone calls. These are things I can do but would not always get round to it. Have a social chat – having someone there to listen and support me. This helped cheer me up and also encouraged me to do things”.

“Feel that my confidence has improved since starting the project i.e. by being supported to joining the gym. This has helped bring down the barriers of accessing services”

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A's Story
When Rhieni Ifanc Ni met A for the first time she was working unsociable hour’s i.e late nights/early mornings. As a single parent, she found it difficult to find childcare for her 3 year old son due to the hours as well as not knowing her working hours week by week. “At the beginning (when we first met) I felt so low and alone. I was so anxious about everything” She felt the chaotic work pattern was affecting her mental health as well which resulted in her not being able to deal with practical day to day tasks. As well as this, A suffered from anxiety and low confidence which created barriers in getting on with daily tasks. Initially, A was in a great deal of debt which was progressively getting worse, she refused to take part in social activities and only wanted to meet at her home or in familiar cafes where she had an idea of who would be there.

With support, she started taking part in a 6 week course, called STEPS, aimed at developing her confidence and self-worth. This gave her the opportunity to challenge her self-beliefs in a safe environment as well as developing her confidence by learning a new instrument and learning to drive. As a result of the intense support of the project and the STEPS course, she was able to seek relevant support from other services such as De Gwynedd Domestic Abuse and Social Services.

“I definitely see a difference in myself. I can talk about my problems. I’m not scared to ask for help. I’m also out of the house more.”

Since completing the course there has been a noticeable difference in A as she has taken part in group activities which has given her the opportunity to meet new parents as well as giving her confidence in going to new places.

“I’m a lot more confident and I’m able to socialise more. I see things differently now, it’s as though I see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

In addition to this, A has become more ambitious and is focusing on bettering her own and her son’s life. “I’ve definitely spent more time with my child doing different things because of the project”. She felt that having a peer mentor as a support was a huge help “It’s been great to talk with someone of the same age who has a child, to discuss different things and to be made to realise that I am a good mother. Going out shopping has also been a help!”

When asked what has been the best thing about receiving support from Rhieni Ifanc Ni A says, “The STEPS course and that Rhieni Ifanc Ni have been there for me step by step. The support helped me with what I feel I really needed”


Lyndsey’s Story
When Lyndsey came to the Rhieni Ifanc Ni Project the past was a worry for her and she found it hard to go back into work. The project referred her to GISDA’s Counsellor and Lyndsey believes that this has helped.

She was also referred to Want to Work and Careers Wales that motivated her to try for new jobs. GISDA supported her to go for interviews by paying for child care costs, and the child is enjoying visiting the nursery as he gets to communicate with other children.

By now the Lyndsey has started work – good luck to her in the future.


Kate's Story
When Kate came to Rhieni Ifanc Ni vising the job centre was a very big worry for her and she wasn’t receiving the correct benefits. After working with a member of staff Kate is receiving income support.

Kate was pregnant when she came to receive support and with the staff she filled in a Sure Start grant application to receive £500 to buy things for the baby. She was referred to GISDA’s floating support as they concentrate on housing matters with her.

Since being part of the project Kate believes her confidence has grown. The staff still has to contact people on her behalf such as the doctor surgery but she has developed to be more independent as she’s sorted her antenatal classes herself.


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