Parents and families do not always know who or where to turn to for support. The role of professional groups in ensuring parents and families know about and have access to effective support is vital.
Family Lives work with key ‘gateway’ practitioner groups, such as Teachers, GPs, Health Visitors and Youth Offending Teams to strengthen signposting and referral links into effective parent and family support.
Throughout, the programme we have developed a range of activities and national resources to help increase awareness and knowledge of effective family support among professionals, so that we can reach out to more families in need.
Family Support Resource for School Leadership Teams and Teachers - Family Lives and Teacher's Support Network
This online guide helps school leadership teams to devise an effective strategy for working with pupils' families - particularly those that need the most help and support. This guide has clear advice on how to have conversations with parents about difficult issues, and a comprehensive guide to national support organisations that school staff can refer parents to free of charge.
For a printer friendly version please email email@example.com.
Results of our survey of General Practitioners
Family Lives and Doctors.net conducted a survey of 1001 GPs to find out about their experience of seeing patients with Family and parenting support needs. Findings included the fact that 44% of GPs are not aware that the primary clinical intervention recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for children with ADHD is an evidence based parenting programme.
We also found that GPs identified fewer patients with family and parenting support needs than we expected. Read the results of that survey here.
Using the results of the survey, Family Lives worked with 2 GPs to write a resource to support GPs in their work with parents and families. The resource contains information about family support services and includes three printable documents for GPs to use to help families who come to them for support.
Results of our survey of Health Visitors
Family Lives and Netmums also conducted a survey of over 200 Health Visitors to find out about their experience of working with families with young children.
- 53% of respondents felt that parents need more support with common parenting problems than when they started their career
- 39% felt that, whilst levels of need had remained the same, demands on their professional time meant that they were less able to provide that support
- Two thirds of respondents felt that they had enough access to information about community and universal parenting support in their area, but a significant 28% did not feel confident that they had access to this information
- Lack of time was the highest ranked barrier cited by respondents of barriers preventing them from offering more advice and support to families on how to manage their children’s,or their own, behaviour or emotional problems
- Lack of capacity was cited as the highest ranked reason for not referring families on for extra support
Working in partnership with the CPHVA and with support from Netmums, Family Lives put together a comprehensive guide to support Health Visitors to signpost families into services run by the voluntary and community sector.
Where do families turn to for support?
Of the 1,000 families who took part in our survey:
- 28% of respondents had visited their GP because of a parenting problem or concern
- 22% of respondents had visited their child’s school because of a parenting problem or concern
- 66% of respondents said they would access family and parenting support via their GP Practice if it was available
- Nearly 53% of respondents said they would access family and parenting support via their child’s school if it was available