- Director of Solihull Approach Hazel Douglas (right) with programme manager Mary Rheeston.
Solihull’s child and adolescent mental health service, part of Heart of England Foundation Trust, has been chosen for a leading role in a Government trial of parenting classes.
The announcement is the latest accolade for the Trust’s ‘Solihull Approach’, an integrated model of working and training programme for a range of care professionals working with families, babies, children and young people to encourage healthy emotional development and an enjoyable family life.
The programme which is already being used in many parts of the UK and has also been taken up in Iceland, with projects in India, Turkey and Peru will now be available over the next two years to all parents of children aged five years and under, in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire, and Camden in London as part of the trial. Along with five other expert family organisations including Save the Children and the National Childbirth Trust, Solihull Approach will run classes in all three areas.
Hazel Douglas, director of Solihull Approach, said: “We are delighted. As one of only six providers offered a contract for all three areas, this is a substantial achievement for us. Mums and dads have told us how helpful the groups are and how much more they are now in tune with their child’s feelings after attending. Some have said they were apprehensive about attending the classes but were glad they did because they now understood more about their child’s stage of development.”
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said: “Parents are the most important influence on a child’s healthy development and future lives. We know from the demand for self help books and from speaking to mums and dads that they would welcome light touch key advice and support from time to time. Unfortunately in some people’s minds there is a stigma attached to asking for help or attending parenting classes. So we have chosen a wide range of expert organisations, with a good track record of reaching out to parents of all backgrounds. They will attract and engage parents through a mixture of face-to-face and online classes, and in a variety of community settings including schools and children’s centres.”