www

Information Booklet: Islington Council

marketing writer image

Supporting Parents in Islington

Brief: To create an accessible, easy-to-read information booklet, explaining the support available for parents in Islington.

 

Introduction
Bringing up children is rewarding and exciting, but also challenging – and there are times when all parents need support. The Parenting Support Strategy is about achieving a future in which any Islington mother, father or carer (described here as parents) who needs support can connect with good-quality parent services.

 

Parents have told us their needs change as their children grow up, so our aim is to offer tailored support based on three different age categories of child:

 

Pre-birth to 5-years old
5 to 13-years old
14 to 19-years old

 

In addition, the Strategy aims to offer more targeted help for parents with unique needs, such as young parents, fathers and those with disabled children.

 

Getting help with parenting is a strength, not a weakness, and we want all parents to see asking for support as part of normal, everyday life. In order to do this, we aim to provide more parenting information, support and advice in familiar environments, such as schools and healthcare centres. We want to deliver services that primarily prevent problems, and help realise everyone’s potential – both parents and children.

 

We’ve carried out detailed research and talked to parents in the borough, to inform us how best to help parents and their children live healthy, happy lives in Islington. We understand that parents are the people who bring up children, so a key aim is to listen to parents and provide what they ask of us.

 

Help for all parents
Based on what parents have told us they need, we want to provide better information about the support services we offer, including children’s activities, in the local area. Making parent services easier to access and appear as a normal part of parenting is a key priority, partly by linking services to places parents are familiar with, such as health centres and schools. We want to provide:

 

Local, high-quality parenting services at convenient times and places, and that are well-advertised so parents know where to find them.

 

A familiar, named person for parents to ask about support in comfortable settings (such as in healthcare centres), and train that person to meet the unique needs of Islington parents.


Helpful advice about common parenting concerns, communicated through TV, radio and other media.


Family learning programmes, confidence building classes, childcare and skills training to help parents fulfil their own potential.

 

Key Issues for Islington Parents

 

Housing
Overcrowding and homelessness are recognised as very negative for families, so the Strategy aims to offer a more family friendly approach to solving housing issues. This means finding ways to improve communication between landlords and families, and making sure all agencies are working together to help parents with housing difficulties.

 

Poverty and Worklessness
Islington has relatively high numbers of parents affected by low incomes or being out of work. In particular, parents of children with disabilities may be unable to work. Supporting parents means creating clear links between parent services, training and work assistance – which is exactly what we want to achieve.

 

We also aim to offer more advice about family budgeting, benefit entitlements and debt management, and help parents become ‘work-ready’ through confidence building classes and other services. More parents will be helped into work (particularly at entry level), and we’re looking to improve access to childcare so parents have time to attend training and employment.

 

Our Community Working Together
A key aim of the Parenting Support Strategy is to reach out to parents who may not ordinarily ask for support. Islington has high numbers of lone parents, parents in couple relationships and a growing ethnic population – all of whom need to know specific help is available for them. In addition, we also want to make sure we reach out to parents who ‘co-parent’, parents of children with disabilities and young parents.

 

We also aim to make services more appealing to fathers – especially fathers of older children – and have more male staff on hand. We want to connect with hard-to-reach groups, such as fathers of refugee families or young fathers. Fathers are crucial to children’s upbringing, and we intend to spread this message throughout our services.

www