Clackmannanshire Parent Project Wins Major Award

A project which provides support to young parents in Clackmannanshire has won a national award at the 2017 COSLA Excellence Awards.

The Clackmannanshire Young Parents Project (YPP) provides practical support tailored to individual needs so that young parents can develop the skills, means and confidence to fulfil their own potential and ensure their children have the best start in life. A primary aim of the project is to help young parents prepare for employment, education or training.

Delivered by Clackmannanshire Council in partnership with NHS Forth Valley, the project is also supported by Forth Valley College, Stirling University and Skills Development Scotland. Referrals are received from a range of sources including health visitors, GPs, schools, social services and self and peer referral.

Research has shown that younger people who become parents tend to have poorer health and social outcomes and that these can be intensified when they become a parent. Young parents often have limited or no experience of statutory services, and can feel discouraged from accessing welfare services because they find the processes confusing or difficult.

YPP uses a key worker approach to provide a single point of contact, and a friendly non-judgemental face, which is important in building their confidence in services. The key worker engages with a network of contacts in partner services to address the needs of each individual. This can mean support with issues such as housing, accessing learning and employment grants, help with money advice and sourcing childcare. All participants complete a course in paediatric first aid, and other opportunities include programmes in elementary cooking skills, food hygiene and confidence and self esteem.

They can also access support from NHS Forth Valley’s Family Nurse Partnership which helps first-time parents aged 19 and under give their babies a healthier start to life.

This includes work to help parents understand their baby, make changes to improve overall wellbeing, develop emotionally and build on strengths which encourage positive relationships.  Nurses also offer advice on diet, education and employment.