Free parenting classes to be offered to over 50,000 mothers and fathers
The Race Equality Foundation welcomes the Government’s announcement of the offer of parenting classes to all fathers and mothers with children under the age of six.The Foundation’s Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities inclusive parent programme is already being taken-up by parents across England as well as in Camden, one of the Government’s pilot sites. Evaluation and comments from parents suggest that they think it is of value to all parents and should be offered as early as possible.
Strengthening Practice to be relaunched!
Strengthening Practice is an online network, designed to facilitate information-sharing and support between SFSC facilitators. We are currently rebranding the Strengthening Practice site to bring it into line with the Race Equality Foundation’s other websites. We plan to launch the new website by the end of the year- watch this space!
Foundation secure funding for SFSC parenting programme under Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund
The Race Equality Foundation has secured funding from the Home Office through the Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund. The work will support families living in areas blighted by gang, gun and knife crime, by building on the evidenced-based violence prevention parenting programme, Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities (SFSC). We will help parents to work with their children to keep them safe, and also support parents to make an impact on the communities in which they live.
What increases the risk of involvement in violence?
There is evidence to suggest that the risk of involvement in violence (including involvement in gangs and the use of guns and knives) is increased by:
- societal factors (for example, poor rule of law)
- community factors (such as poverty)
- relationship factors (such as friends being involved in violence)
- personal factors (for example, alcohol/drug abuse)
How can SFSC help?
We know that warm and authoritative parenting is key in preventing children and young people from becoming involved with gangs, guns and violence. Parenting programmes, such as SFSC, can foster a positive style of parenting, and promote the social competence, self-esteem and solution building skills of children and young people. Building on this evidence, the Race Equality Foundation will work with a range of partners to deploy an enhanced version of the SFSC parenting programme. We will work in Croydon, Leeds and Haringey, targeting areas which have a greater risk of children and young people being involved in gangs, guns and violence. The enhanced version of the SFSC programme will introduce a new film resource, to trigger discussion and plans for individual, family and community action. The project will reach 180 parents over the lifetime of this work.
Positive feedback for SFSC from Children’s Workforce Development Council
The Race Equality Foundation has received positive feedback from the Children’s Workforce Development Council for the high completion rate of SFSC training achieved as part of its Parenting Practitioner 1000 Places Training Offer. 117 facilitators completed SFSC training as part of this programme, and particular praise was given for the Foundation’s commitment to timetabling the training at short notice and for the completion of all paperwork and feedback surveys.
CWDC Head of Programme, Bekah Little said:
‘We have been impressed by your commitment to this project and that you have delivered that which was required within the tight timescales. You rose to every challenge that was encountered and we are therefore grateful to you for the dedication that was shown’.
SFSC highlighted as promoting ‘Equality at the heart of big society’
The Race Equality Foundation’s Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parenting programme has been highlighted as a positive example of the black and minority ethnic voluntary and community sector’s contribution to Big Society. In a report designed to both celebrate and maintain support for the work carried out by voluntary and community sector organisations, One North West describe the role of SFSC in connecting black and minority ethnic parents with communities, decreasing isolation and empowering them through access to information.
New look facilitator manual
The SFSC facilitator manual has undergone a review process which is now complete. The new look manual complements the PowerPoint slides and the parent manual. This means the manual:
- looks more aesthetically pleasing
- refers to power point slides throughout
- includes a disc holder within the manual
- has an improved font size and lay out
- includes improved direction on the smacking discussion.
The manual has also been revised to include more up-to-date information on:
- UK rollout of SFSC
- programme delivery procedures
- research and legislation.
The manual is being used for facilitator training from November 2010 and new facilitators will receive the manual. For facilitators in receipt of the previous manual, the new edition can be ordered from the Foundation.
A new look parent manual
The SFSC team have been working on the design of the parent manual to make it more user-friendly and attractive to parents. This has involved the introduction of:
- full colour
- new fonts and reduced use of upper case letters to better support dyslexic readers
- new slide designs to make for standardisation between materials
- new covers
Currently this manual is only available in English; however we are currently updating all translations. These should be available in 2011.
Partnership working with Family Planning Association
SFSC has teamed up with the Family Planning Association to offer ‘Speakeasy’, a free one day course that will help SFSC facilitators improve their skills, knowledge and confidence. Speakeasy:
- supports SFSC delivery, especially areas of the curriculum which examine healthy relationships
- is easy to introduce as an add-on session and into the community speakers sessions of the programme
- offers a non-threatening group-based opportunity for parents and carers to acquire confidence and skills to talk to their children about sex and sexuality
- is designed to be fun and relaxed, and provide an atmosphere where parents can learn together from their experiences.
Free courses will take place in five locations across the UK, dates November 2010 – February 2011.
See the events pages for Speakeasy training dates
New training: Working with parents with learning disabilities
The first ‘Working with parents with learning disabilities’ training, the latest in our Advanced Skills Training portfolio for trained SFSC facilitators, took place on the 23-24 September. It was a successful event attended by 13 facilitators from agencies in London, Birmingham and Northamptonshire. It was facilitated by Maurice Kennedy and Janette Bryan.
This training resulted from the production of the draft illustrated manual for parents with learning difficulties and:
- raises awareness of the particular challenges faced by parents with learning difficulties
- considers how these challenges might have an impact on parenting techniques
- briefly re-visits the SFSC curriculum
- explores how to effectively engage and support parents with learning difficulties in the SFSC programme.
The training was very well received by the participants who, despite two fairly intense days, were extremely focused on bringing their skills, knowledge and expertise to the training. This helped to make it an informative and fun two days for participants and facilitators alike.
It is envisaged that facilitators/agencies will take up this training, not only to make SFSC accessible to parents with learning difficulties, but also to inform their practice generally. Further courses will be delivered in early 2011.
For further information on training to deliver SFSC to parents with learning disabilities, email Beverley Thompson
Easy words and pictures overheads
Delivery to parents with learning disabilities has been simplified with the development of overheads which mimic the language and images used to explain programme concepts in the easy words and pictures manual. The easy words and pictures PowerPoint should be used alongside the easy words and pictures manual and standard PowerPoint slides- they are NOT to replace existing PowerPoint overheads which should continue to be used with all other groups.