On 11 April 2018, the Department of Health hosted an event at Crumlin Road Gaol to seek initial views on the Family and Parenting Support Strategy. This new Strategy, which led by DoH on behalf of all government departments, will build on the strengths of Families Matter and reflect lessons learned from more recent developments such as the family support hubs and the EITP.
The workshop involved representatives from a range of organisations including government departments, statutory organisations and the third sector. The primary goal was to create a space to enable the Department to work alongside attendees and draw from their experience, expertise and knowledge to help shape the new Strategy.
Delegates were invited to discuss the evidence base, outcomes in both the short and longer term, and to identify priority groups or needs. There was also discussion regarding the six proposed themes for the Strategy:
- Doing it early – a commitment to early intervention;
- Doing it well – focus on achieving the best outcomes for that particular family;
- Doing what works – using evidence based/informed interventions;
- Doing it together – a commitment to partnership working;
- Doing it with not to parents – using co-production;
- Helping parents to do it for themselves – promoting empowerment and building resilience.
The Department was greatly encouraged by the positive engagement of delegates, and the constructive comments and feedback provided. Work is now underway to analyse and consider the comments and feedback.
The next steps in progressing the Strategy will include identifying key learning from the event, and considering how best this can be reflected as the Strategy is developed. The Department will also be strengthening the links across the Departments, and engaging with parents/caregivers and families.
If you have ideas on how the Department can work together with families, or have other comments on the Strategy, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.