Eleni Bloy shares her thoughts on the Foundation building ‘Healthy Relationships’ through SFSC in Waltham Forest.
We have been delivering Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities (SFSC) in Waltham Forest since 2016 and have formed close working relationships with statutory and community partners, including parents who have completed our in person 13 week programme or our 6 week online programme. This strong network has repeatedly proved what partnerships can achieve for families when there is good communication, desire and determination.
We are presently funded in Waltham Forest to deliver our SFSC ‘reducing parental conflict’ Healthy Relationships supplemented delivery. Part of this project is to to train and then co-deliver in partnership with council staff from Early Help and children’s social care. Having trained council staff in the early spring this year, the plan had been to prepare for in- person co- delivered groups from the September term.
In early summer, I was contacted by one of the area Early Help managers who told me that they had a venue available for delivery of a parenting group at short (4 working days) notice. Looking at the need in the borough (Early Help had a considerable waiting list of parents looking for parenting group support), I immediately contacted our newly trained council facilitators as well as one of our experienced SFSC team. With a huge effort to block out group delivery in full time working diaries, three days of making calls to parents, dissemination of group details through parent WhatsApp groups, school newsletters and parent forums and, our Early Help manager and her team assisting with making sure the venue was delivery ready, we were able to deliver a coffee morning 4 working days later; delivery of the programme began the following week and with a core group of 14 parents who engaged with the programme enthusiastically.
This experience has very much demonstrated the truth of the proverb that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’; there is great need for the support and learning that SFSC can bring to parents and focused collaborative working between parents, schools, statutory agencies and faith and community organisations is the way to reach those parents.
Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a culturally sensitive programme that supports parents to strengthen their parenting skills and enhance relationships with their children. The programme considers ways to build stronger community connections and promote children’s safety and wellbeing.
Eleni Bloy is Parental Conflict Lead at Race Equality Foundation.
For more information or to find out more about reducing parental conflict through building healthy family relationships, contact Eleni on: email@example.com / 07708 360561