"Coaching is the practical tool to deliver strengths based 'Recovery Model' type interventions with families and individuals. I am in support of using this approach to families both because of it's effectiveness and it's congruence with a person centred approach. From a more systemic perspective because it develops transferable skills it does have the potential for a viral impact. The DofH last year agreed with our proposal to use the Recovery Model to bring about coordinated multi agency direct practice with users of the new multi million pound certres for disabled children opening in Swale, Thanet and Ashford in April."
Graham Smith, East Kent Area Manager for Disabled Children's Services, Kent County Council
"At Riverside Children's Centre we have been running our sessions with Every Family Matters for 3 weeks now. We have 4 parents who have accessed the Family Coaching Cafe, 3 of whom in this last week have found the confidence to approach us in asking for more support with various issues:
2 have asked for support with parenting problems, 1 of which also links with separation anxieties; 1 has asked for support with her ongoing depression and for us to monitor it's effect on her child (if any).
I believe that the Cafe has enabled these parents to realize where they need support and has provided them with the confidence to ask for it. We, as a Centre team, have worked with 3 parents for over one year and 1 parent since her baby was 3 months old (approx. 5 months now) and, the Cafe has been a breakthrough for us. We are signposting families to the session and have encouraged our Health visitors to talk with parents too. As we are adjoined to a primary school, we have also encouraged several of our families to take part. There has been no uptake from them as yet.
We believe that the Cafe is an ideal way of building self-esteem and confidence and enhances our services to our families."
Martha Collins, Children & Family Services Coordinator, Riverside Children's Centre
“One of the parents on the Empowering Families course (now Parent Champion level 1) asked me what she can do next and I advised her that any 'parenting' programme would in fact be a step backwards. I think there's real value to this programme and why shouldn't everyone access it? There's a definite gap to be filled, families that have had counselling or need a way to move on, especially with self esteem issues and also taking control of their lives - it's a perfect fit."
Mrs Anita Smith, Children and Families Coordinator, Bligh Children’s Centre
"Since starting on the Empowering Families course (now Parent Champion level 1), Mrs D has become more confident in her parenting of her children. She is more assertive in setting boundaries and can maintain those. Her confidence will hopefully allow her to make the right choices for her and her family even though they may not be easy ones. The social worker Tatjana Ramshaw has noticed a great difference."
Ms Caroline Lindesay, Senior Practitioner, Chatham Integrated Services Team
" I know that several parents attended the Parent Champion Programme over the last eight weeks and the teachers have been reporting back to me about the changes they have seen in the parents’ relationships with the children and indeed the children themselves. The outcome has been very positive.
I can see the impact your programme is having and feel it is providing a vital service for parents. It is apparent that life is faster paced, often resulting in more stress for some families. The relationship that teachers have with parents has evolved with parents being more open, wanting to share their problems and seeking sources of advice. Parenting has always been a difficult job, never more so than now and so programmes such as yours are greatly needed to positively empower families.
Keep up the good work!."
Miss T J Gobell, Headteacher, Bligh Infant School
"Thank you once again, for doing these sessions with us, they are very valuable in context to today's society. I definitely feel that I have benefited from these sessions, and feel very glad that you were able to come to our local Children's Centre."
Mrs JF. Parent
"I know there are many courses out there but this one really hits home. I have 3 daughters under 5 and before doing the "parent champion” course I was in a very bad place with my children, each day was a struggle, it was a fight. They wouldn't listen as is the case in most family's, but during this course I learned ways to deal with the challenges, and one of the powerful things I learned, was that It was me who wasn't listening not them. Everyone has a choice! Since the course my relationship with my children has greatly improved, They are little people with their own ideas and their own minds, I am now able to guide them through life to their full potential not control them. And I realised I am a great mum and always have been. This course has changed mine and many other parents lives, I hope it will change many others too."
Ms E. Parent
"Having had my grandson in my care for 8 years, he was having bad temper tantrums, and was becoming an angry 10 year old old with attitude. Our homelife was very stressful and he was in a place that I couldn't reach. The Empowering Families course (now Parent Champion level 1) came along at the right time for me, and has enriched both our lives. I am now able to communicate with him in a more calm and confident manner. I have learnt to listen to him more with much better energy. This has resulted in my grandson being more able to express what he is trying to get across to me without getting angry. The course has boosted my self esteem, and I have managed to adopt a positive manner on a daily basis, and the more I practice them, will result in a better relationship together. The Empowering Families course has given me back my self esteem, and has enriched my life through learning to empower myself."
Ms G. Carer
Mrs K. Parent
"I have enjoyed the course and got a lot from it. I particularly liked the energy exercise where I relaxed, let go of all the negativity and drifted out of my body. When I came back I felt very relaxed and calm. The course really helped me communicate with my two children and listen to them on a deeper level, they really do have lots of interesting things to say and so much wisdom when I take the time to listen properly. I liked the idea that we all have choices and throughout this course I chose to work hard on my family and I feel much happier for it."
"I have learnt so much and my life has changed drastically because of it. I would also like to thank Debs for all her encouragement and the words of wisdom when I was down. Together you have both made it easier for me to get through a very hard part of my life. During the process of this course I have made some great friends who I don’t think I would have met if it hadn’t been for this course and I would love it if we kept in contact. I now know I can achieve anything I can set my mind to. For instance talking about this course in front of 20 odd professionals."
Ms K. Parent
A couple of video testimonials from an earlier course
See the video testimonial of Cat here
See the video testimonial of Vicki here
In answer to the question "What do I want to be" one child wrote, "I would like to be myself. I tried to be other things, but I always failed."
Parents themselves are changing the culture of parenting in their community. This will, in turn, change the fabric of our society from the inside out. It starts with the family – and in the family.