How early intervention can help prevent the breakdown of families

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The BBC recently published an article highlighting the need for early intervention in an effort to circumvent family breakdown. The report tells the story of’ Mary’, who has taken a relative’s two children into her home in Birmingham but believes that the family could have been saved had they had help earlier on – perhaps in the form of parenting classes, budgeting and cooking classes or counselling for the children’s mother.

Mary told the BBC: “It would have made a lot of difference. It maybe would have helped probably keep the family together and not have it broken up the way that it is.”

The Oasis Hub, a charity-run centre where parents can drop in to learn cooking and budgeting skills from volunteers, and also find counselling, childcare and friends, is somewhere where Mary goes to receive community support but staff say that they have noticed neglect cases are on the rise. Centre manager Anji Barker says:

“What we see is that where that early help could have happened, and then mum was able to get on her feet and keep those children and then go on to actually be a very effective parent, we are now seeing that’s just left and left and left until the crisis emerges.”

One of the fundamental ethics that defines and drives the Kids Matter parenting programme is ‘early intervention’. Our aim is to provide much needed parenting support to parents BEFORE they reach crisis point – and we are doing this in the programmes that are currently in place around the UK. The church can play a key role in this – by supporting Kids Matter and other early intervention similar support programmes, we can lift some of the strain from the local services that are struggling to meet the needs of struggling families across the country.

Please feel free to contact Kids Matter (info@kidsmatter.org.uk) for information regarding our parenting programme – perhaps you’d like to partner with us, volunteer or even support us financially.

READ “Poorest areas face biggest cuts to children’s services” on bbc.co.uk for further details on Mary’s story.

Image Attribution: Adam Wasilewski / Shutterstock.com

 

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