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The Village is a collaboration involving Care Visions, Early Years Scotland and Scottish Attachment in Action, and is supported by investment from The Promise Partnership and Care Visions Fostering.
Named after the proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, The Village is an independent place where parents of children under five and parents to be, with care experience, can find information and a listening ear, and can support each other. It is an online community where people can choose how much or how little they wish to contribute. Through our gateway of resources, they can link with a Village team member. They use a life-coaching approach and can offer one-to-one support with parenting.
The Village is needed. Parents with care experience regularly disclose the stigma that they feel on becoming parents with the additional anxiety that there will be statutory involvement in their children’s lives because of their own childhood experiences.
All parents need support as parenting is a difficult task, which few people are prepared for. People with care experience can be even less prepared as they may not have had a positive experience of being parented themselves. The Village is strengths-based, recognising that most parents want to be the best possible parents they can be and gain support from being part of a community.
Using Instagram and Facebook, makes The Village accessible across Scotland. It offers soft supportive messages and information. Any care experienced parent who wishes to become a Villager can do so through our participation agreement. This allows parents and carers to get individualised support from the team. It is also an opportunity for us to reassure anyone joining us that we take a minimum amount of data; we don't evaluate parenting; and are an independent care experience-led community. Parents can either direct message or video call as often or as little as they like.
We can offer baby massage sessions and be there to answer questions about what to expect at appointments, and about pregnancy, birth and parenting. We can help with income maximisation, entitlements to nursery, health and so on. We also provide baby and toddler sensory packs, children's books, vouchers and more. Because of digital exclusion, internet hubs and internet data for any parent who needs these, are available.
Our community offers one-to-one support; helps shape policy, procedures and processes with the Scottish Government and statutory services to reduce the stigma experienced by parents; and builds a community of support and capacity for care experienced parents to share their experience and help others.
Also in this issue
Other articles published in the Autumn 2022 newsletter