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Supporting parents and carers

In April 2020 the London Violence Reduction Unit funded the Islington and Camden Parental Support Project to provide community based, peer-to-peer support to families as part of a public health approach to violence reduction.

The multi-level prevention programme is delivered by a small team based in Islington’s VAWG and Youth Safety Service who provide:

  • Comprehensive online training offer to parents and carers
  • Transition to secondary school support for year 6/7 children and their families
  • 1:1 support, mental health and therapeutic support to parents and carers
  • Violence Reduction Parent Champion programme with an active group of parent champions who organise their own training sessions, speak at public engagements, communicate directly with their peers, and provide peer to peer support.

Originally funded as a pilot project, the Parental Support project was due to end in March 2022. The London VRU extended funding for 2022 -2023 due to the project’s success and impact, particularly in engaging parents and carers from diverse backgrounds. The VRU have indicated that they wish to continue to fund the project after April 2023, but they have said that the funding may be reduced.

We are committed to making the case for continued funding based on the success of the project as is evidenced in the highly positive London Met University evaluation of the VRU Parental Support completed in April 2022, which stated that:

"Although other services may offer similar types of interventions, the Parental Support Project provides a blueprint of how to ensure parents feel valued, listened to and able to address issues that they, their families, and the wider community face’’ (London Met University, Dr James Alexander and Andrea Streng-Lazzerini, April 2022).

During 2020 - 2022 the VRU Parental Support engaged 336 parents and 24 young people across Islington and Camden, achievements include:

  • 93% of parents said the support helped them improve engagement with their child’s school
  • 86% of parents said their child got the right support.
  • 24 children were supported to make a positive transition to secondary school
  • 285 parents participated in on line training covering;
  • Welfare Benefits/Employment/Adult Learning and Start up to Business Webinar
  • Education System (SEND and Exclusions)
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Social Switch – Social Media Awareness Training and IT Digital Taster Session
  • County Lines Webinar, Teen Dating Violence and Diversion Workshop
  • Establishment of the excellent VRU Parent Champions (PCs) scheme, 12 highly skilled and motivated parents/carers who are passionate about improving the lives of families
  • London VRU have selected the VRU PCs to be paid to take part in panels inform delivery of VRU services and strategy development across London
  • The VRU PCs in partnership with Parent House launched the United against Violence pod cast this summer
  • The VRU PCs will be delivering knife harm prevention sessions in schools and coffee morning for parents in primary schools this autumn

"I have felt very supported by the (Parental Support Project), they have been the most consistent service I have ever had. You have helped my boys to remain in school, and so much more. Thank you" (Parent 2021).

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