These workshops cover the services which could support or affect families, in the transition to parenthood. Its not what NCT provides, although in the future it is possible there will be more overlap. The purpose was to outline some current services for people becoming parents and draw from those attending ideas on what they felt parents needed at this stage in their lives.
Yes we are senior advisers but we most certainly do not know everything. We work with members and particularly with NCT reps. We value enormously your knowledge, your thoughts and your input.
Yes we did say ambitious! We felt we needed to start by trying to set out a wide approach to what we mean by ‘services’. Some are obvious, like maternity care, which the majority of people expect to get free of charge via the NHS. Other things that parents need are not usually called services but are part of the accepted legal and economic provision for parents, like maternity/paternity leave and pay, child benefit and tax credits. Goods and equipment may be bought commercially, obtained via voluntary sector sources or sometimes hired from the NHS, a charity or local authority in certain circumstances.
These criteria describe a ‘perfect’ solution that should be snapped up by the ‘powers that be’. Unfortunately, even if we can find one that meets all of these, there may be other obstacles to acceptance or implementation. However, we know that the better we can argue in these terms, the more success we are likely to have.
Income has reduced for a large proportion of families who have lost Child Trust Fund, any increase in Child benefit, Maternity Grant for subsequent children, some have also lost entitlement to Child tax credits. In addition more people are out of work, particularly women and young people; those in work have had their pay frozen or cut while inflation has increased. - particularly food, fuel and transport costs. The End Child Poverty Network Cymru called for a full analysis of the impact of the Welfare Reform Programme in Wales, and how its impact on families can be mitigated. There are cuts to childcare support, reductions in support for disabled children, and changes to lone parent arrangements. It is feared that the system does not provide an adequate safety-net for the most vulnerable, and will lead to greater levels of deprivation for many families.
Flying Start is targeted at 0-3 year olds in the most disadvantaged communities. It comprises: free quality part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds an enhanced Health Visiting service access to Parenting Programmes access to Language and Play sessions. These are universally available to all families with children aged 0-3 in the area. More information about the Flying Start programme is available on the Welsh Government website . The right to take paternity leave has been increased but only paid at statutory rate, i.e. approx £130 per week.
Services are supposed to become more integrated in time, but this has not happened much yet. joint There are integrated Children’s Centres in some places such as Cardiff, Wrexham, Swansea, but these are not widely available to parents across Wales. There are also Children and Young People's Partnerships with Co-ordinators in each Local Authority area and Family Information services which supply information on childcare, links to disability organisations and other support.
In addition Public Health Wales has adopted a pathfinder approach that supports the strategic vision for maternity services in Wales, the National Service Framework for Children and Our Healthy Future. Profiles of Lifestyle and Health (2010) A series of reports and supporting documents with information on health-related behaviours and their impact on health in Wales. The topics covered are diet, physical activity, obesity, smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, sexual health and dental health. Child health related indicators included in the profile are children who are overweight or obese, children eating fruit daily. Children's health needs assessments: information sources (2010) The purpose of this document is to scope policies, strategies and data available to inform health needs assessments and healthcare needs assessments for children in Wales. StatsWales is a data web resource provided by the Welsh Assembly Government. Available data include: Method of delivery (birth) Births (includes still births and low birth weight) Breastfeeding Children and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) The national Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) provides information and intelligence to improve decision-making for high quality, cost effective services. Links: Reproductive and early years web pages Public Health Wales
A lovely photo of a family who look as though they sit together, eat together and engage with each other in a positive way. But of course not every family looks like this.
Growth whatever people’s circumstances, NCT needs to ensure appropriate services are provided. Its possible we could provide some more services ourselves? eg in the first couple of weeks, birth companions, more peer supporters, NCT person on every Children’s centre board, link to every infant feeding lead, Head of midwifery, and health board. Better geographical and social reach Thought leadership Possible ideas include a commission/ Inquiry on transition to parenthood MCWP focused on maternity, we need something wider on TTP Continue to make the case and lobby effectively for user involvement at all levels Parents to influence services and infrastructure locally Many opportunities to be involved in decision making – Dominate early parenting policy discussions at local, national and UK wide level. Ensuring consistently inclusive language and examples of NCT work where relevant Parents need a range of support and to know who provides. Ideally all should know who to contact. Vibrant voluntary sector is important. Need hvs who are in touch with what is going on and signpost, Partnership How should we do it ? eg Links with other NGOs, refugee council, Child Poverty Action group, Orgs that lobby on benefits to include/think more about the TTP Examples of effective working: – eg we have worked with transport groups while getting them to focus on TTP; this adds strength to their message and extends into pregnancy or small children Or with Fuel poverty coalition – many babies born in September, women at home on maternity leave with young baby struggling to pay fuel bills. We currently work with; Treasury in England, BIS, Health in Wales, Cabinet office because all influencing families. End Fuel Poverty and Maternity Action, Baby Feeding Law Group among others. We always need to listen to parents’ experiences of services, but especially important now to have timely feedback. Find out about current services – eg how well are services integrated, how are children’s centres affected by cuts, are they reaching people they need to? Listen to people: Parents, expectant and new parents, health professionals, childrens’ centre staff, social workers, linkworkers, advocates,
Creating an appropriate infrastructure (Wales)
University of CardiffInfluencing, improving & insistingupon inventive and integratedservicesWhat are families offered, what do they wantand how can NCT make sure they get it?
People in the transition to parenthood (TTP) arelikely to need services in acute and communityhealth, public health, early education andchildcare.Parents also have needs for employment,income, housing, nutrition, transport, goods &equipment for babies, security, social support,leisure, communication and information, allappropriate for themselves and their families.
To lobby for what we know parents want …NCT provides, offers or stimulates solutions- which meet the needs of politicians, policymakers and service providers- for both short-term successes and long-termbenefits- in terms of finance, efficiency and outcomes
Current situation – snapshot• Families have reduced incomes• UK has a rising birthrate, economic/social migration• Child poverty is set to increase• Fuel poverty affects children disproportionately
Current situation – snapshot• Flying Start is expanding to reach more families• Paternity leave increased• Healthy Start
NCT supports Welsh maternity strategy•Should support choice and ensure consistentservices•But not clear how users involved in design•Need to bring together all services – linkingNHS, local authorities and community groups toshare information, expertise and services.
NCT supports integrated services•bringing together all family services – access tobenefits, advice, social services, childcare,support for disabled parents or children via localauthority, charities and community groups.
NCT’s new strategy – ways of working•Growth – we will continue to increase our reach, bothgeographic and social, to all parents and expand our postnataland early years services.•Thought leadership – we will use our position of influence tochange the perception of parenthood and create breakthroughsolutions to address the dilemmas parents face.•Partnership – to deliver on ambitious targets we will work moreformally with other organisations to increase the supportavailable to new parents and expand their availability to reacheven more of the population
Thank you very much for attending and joiningin discussionWe always need your news and views.Please stay in touch and feed through anythoughts and ideas.Rosie Dodds firstname.lastname@example.orgElizabeth Duff email@example.com