To bring about sustainable change in family life through community led parenting groups; empowering parents to grow in their confidence and skills to build strong relationships with their children.
Our vision is to equip the church to empower parents and carers struggling with adversity to develop confidence and parenting skills within their community to enable their children to flourish and sustain well-functioning family life.
We do this through training and equipping front line church and Christian community leaders to run our relational and community based Kids Matter parenting programme. Research shows that if parents have existing connections with parenting programme facilitators, they are more likely to engage with the material and retain what they have received. In addition, these leaders will also be able to help connect them to other activities in the wider community and reduce isolation.
Our evidence based 6-week Kids Matter parenting programme offers parents practical tips and skills on how to make family life/parenting more successful and enjoyable in a warm, supportive environment (and includes taster and booster sessions).
We envisage hundreds of these small groups meeting in local communities all over the country, learning how to strengthen their families and supporting one another in doing so.
Why through the local church?
We believe reaching parents within their own communities is key. Experience has taught us that parents should not be expected to travel to specialist centres for family relationship support. We believe the local church is uniquely positioned to reach vulnerable families and parents in their communities because of their large volunteer base and mission oriented purpose. Churches should be partnering already with local services and can serve as a ‘family hub’ for signposting parents to other needed services and activities in the public/private and voluntary sectors.
We expect our programmes to be provided for people of all faiths within the local community. Kids Matter is intended as an outreach programme rather than for insular use within the church itself. We will also train facilitators to work with local schools in partnership with the local church.
At the time of writing we are working with the probation service and with ex-offenders on piloting programmes to be run in prisons.
Kids Matter is currently for 0-10 year olds and in time we hope to produce a Teens Matter programme as well.