When you've asked for help - these are some of your views and experiences
You told us about lots of different positive and negative experiences when you asked for help
From feedback received, you said services were good where parents and carers:
- Feel they are being supported
- Feel they are being listened to
- Feel they will not be judged by others
- Receive practical advice and tips
- Feel they are treated as individuals
- Feel there is trust and respect between parents and practitioners
You also told us you feel services could be improved by:
- Having better communication between parents and practitioners
- Practitioners boosting parents' confidence and their parenting abilities
- Practitioners giving more recognition and praise to parents and carers for the things that are going well
- Practitioners giving parents the opportunity to be fully informed and involved in any decisions being made about their children. Parents know their children best
- Being more visible and accessible in local communities
- Being more flexible. More choices in the way support is delivered
- Practitioners not taking over if parents ask for a little support. Parents want to keep control of what happens within their own family
Feedback told us about one parent who was initially reluctant to access services in the voluntary sector said:
"It turned out to be extremely beneficial in helping me realise my own potential and self worth as a person, wife and mum."
A number of you told us that when you use services, often it's the whole family that needs support.
- Services should provide a whole family approach
Feedback included the story of one mother who spoke of when her husband went into rehab for his alcohol dependency. She was left alone to look after her three young children. Although the husband got the help he needed, the mother said:
"I felt isolated, scared, alone and although I appreciate my
husband needed help, myself and my children needed help too. I feel
some support ought
to run in parallel."
When you've asked for help - these are some of your views
Some parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities told us:
- There needs to be better continuity of support between child and adult services
"Support finishing at 16 years of age - they are still kids, they still have the same needs."
Lots of you said you need help at an earlier stage:
- There was a sense that families had to get to crisis point before agencies intervene
"Really important to make parents aware of the help and support out there that is available - positive help not just when something goes wrong."
Childcare was raised as an important issue:
- Parents told us they are looking for more flexible, easily accessible and affordable childcare
- Parents with two or more children told us they want childcare that is suitable for children of different ages in the same area
- Parents of children with disabilities told us they need childcare which can provide the individual support their child needs
Dads can benefit from support too:
- Several dads told us that attending support groups helped them realise they were not alone. Other dads were struggling with similar things, and it was good for them to meet and discuss their experiences
The dads told us:
- They want to be more involved in bringing up their children
- They feel that services like 'mums and toddler groups' by their name alone can make them feel excluded and unwelcome
- They feel when accessing services, there is a view that men are expected to be able to cope
Some parents told us cultural differences can impact on your use of services:
- Having more services that are culturally sensitive
"Services can make assumptions about the travelling community."
"Language is a barrier, my English is very basic."