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Useful resources for practitioners working with families
NHS Heath Scotland recently published a research report, Health and Parenting Information: meeting the needs of all parents commissioned from the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen).
The research comprised two components: (1) a rapid review of the literature, which explored the 'grey' and published literature on effective approaches to providing information support for parents, and (2) interviews with key informants with a national or more strategic role, and mini-workshops and interviews with front-line practitioners who provided locality-based support to parents in Highland, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The study participants represented professionals working in a variety of services with parents from different family, social and economic circumstances and from urban and rural locations in Scotland. The parents they supported were from black and ethnic minority communities; young parents; parents under stress, fathers and families with experience of disability.
Parents need information about a wide range of topics; about their child's health, parenting, child-parent interaction, the wider family and about support services. They need such information, either on an ad-hoc or on a continuing basis.
Many find it hard to get information support because of a lack of services, poor signposting to services, a lack of specific resources to meet their needs, child protection or financial concerns and/or because they are afraid of being stigmatised as being "in need".
The study also found that:
As this research focused on the views of professionals/practitioners rather than on the views of parents themselves, further research with parents is needed to fully understand what information they need and how they can best get it, for example through different media and technologies. This research will be carried out in 2011.
Additionally, we need to consider how best to involve professionals who support parents' information needs so that they can respond in an appropriate and inclusive manner to those who seek information about their child's health and well-being.
Other articles published in our April 2011 newsletter:
Other articles about wellbeing: