This briefing paper has been updated to incorporate practice submitted from a C4EO call for practice in 2015. Written originally with children’s centres in mind, the briefing has wider relevance to local authorities, VCS and partner organisations working to improve outcomes for babies and young children.
The introduction to this briefing sets the context for ways in which community capacity has been built through engaging parents and volunteers with Sure Start children’s centres by reference to the underpinning statutory guidance for local authorities, commissioners of local health services and Jobcentre Plus as well as for self-evaluation. The keys to success are explored by reference to C4EO’s Grasping the Nettle’s identification of five golden threads underpinned by the use of peer support i.e. volunteers from the community who are trained to work alongside professionals. Similarly, the work of the WAVE Trust identified six key messages with galvanizing the community being the secret of success.
Best practice identified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership is cited with volunteer programmes recognised as one of the foundations of effective outreach in engaging parents. Examples of best practice identified by Ofsted are included through an innovative approach using volunteers in child protection in Coventry (this is also recognised by C4EO in Southend-on-Sea), an example from East Hasting Children’s Centre which has developed an extensive network of volunteers as well as a dynamic parents’ forum in Forest First Children’s Centre in Hampshire.
C4EO assesses and validates local practice in order to provide evidence of ‘what works’ and what ‘makes a difference’ to inspire best practice. The examples given demonstrate how parents supporting parents transformed early years outcomes, embedding sustained change within the community. Volunteer befriending provided the basis for NCT’s Birth and Beyond Community Support Programme developed to deliver community-based peer support. The National Literacy Trust built on their Literacy Champions volunteer based programme to develop Early Words Together to promote young children’s communication, language and literacy and enable family engagement through the support of peer volunteers. A Parent Champion Model, along with adaptations is described to show the way the intervention works and the impact on parents/families and children as well as the Parent Champion volunteers’ journey and development.
t. 020 7833 6825
20th July 2016 - London - One day course. Practitioner training to gain the knowledge and understanding of the potential impact of parental mental health problems, substance misuse and domestic violence on children.Read More>
A Quiet Place provides evidence based, personal development programmes, supporting the achievement of unique outcomes for all ages and abilities, focusing on future aspirations and dreams, whilst drawing upon a completely holistic approach.Read More>
Themes this local practice example relates to: Vulnerable (Looked After) Children Safeguarding Families, Parents and Carers General resources Early Help Priorities this local practice example relates to: Protecting children living in families where they are at high risk of abuse, harm or neglect Basic details Organisation submitting exampleRead More>
Parent Champions originated as a small-scale pilot scheme following research conducted by Daycare Trust between 2004 and 2007, which found that despite advances in childcare provision in the UK in that period, disadvantaged groups still remained less likely to take up childcare.Read More>