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Earlier this year, About Families hosted an event to explore the evidence report 'Parenting on a low income'. We are now helping organisations to use this research in practice. Some examples are:
ASH Scotland raises awareness about tobacco use and its harmful effects, and is involved in public health work to help smokers to quit and protect children from tobacco. We are working with ASH Scotland and money advice services in Glasgow and Lanarkshire to help parents and individuals on a low income recognise the costs of smoking and the benefits of stopping. Ultimately, this will inform work between money advice services and 'stop smoking services' in other areas, and raise the awareness of practitioners who are supporting parents and families.
BHSG promotes healthy lifestyles in South West Edinburgh running a volunteer-led food co-op which provides fresh fruit and vegetables at low cost, cookery sessions and health initiatives including drop-ins and walking groups. We are working with BHSG to develop cookery sessions which involve encouraging parents and children to cook, share stories and have fun by creatively combining stories with healthy eating.
Scottish Book Trust's early years programme, Bookbug, is a national book gifting programme, providing free, high quality, books for every baby, toddler, three and five-year-old in Scotland. It has recently launched an 'assertive outreach programme' to reach vulnerable children and families and those living in the most deprived communities. We are collaborating with Scottish Book Trust to engage parents in developing training for practitioners who are working with these vulnerable families. The training will help them to help parents and children to spend time together sharing books and to attend local Bookbug sessions.
We have been running a 'community of practice', along with One Parent Families Scotland, to consider how evidence can inform services. This is enabling participants from various organisations to discuss policy and practice which supports parents and families living on a low income, share concerns and good practice and identify opportunities for partnership working.
Other articles published in our Sept 2012 newsletter: