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Parental Involvement in Decision-Making. 2 The importance of parental involvement Why involve parents? Degrees of involvement Strategies for engaging.

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Presentation on theme: "Parental Involvement in Decision-Making. 2 The importance of parental involvement Why involve parents? Degrees of involvement Strategies for engaging."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parental Involvement in Decision-Making

2 2 The importance of parental involvement Why involve parents? Degrees of involvement Strategies for engaging parents Impact of involvement in decision-making Parent and professional views Implications for Childrens Centres Overview

3 3 The importance of parental involvement in decision-making Sure Start Strategy explicit about involvement of parents In consultation In participation In knowledge sharing In feedback about services Introduction

4 4 Inclusiveness Capacity Building Sustainability Benefits Local knowledge Able to identify gaps in provision Can monitor and feed back on service provision A sense of ownership Parents actively involved in influencing the quality of life of their own and other children where they live Why Involve Parents?

5 5 Evidence Base Setting up Stage reports: (x8) Surveys (x16) Parental involvement: topics (x4) Interagency perspectives (x6)

6 6 Key Themes Parental involvement in decision-making happens at a number of levels and in a variety of ways Parental involvement works in terms of affecting the shape of services and service use A number of strategies have been effective in promoting the involvement of diverse groups of parents: fathers; young parents; travellers There are challenges

7 7 Involvement in Decision-making: Continuum Blanket consultation Delivery plan Surveys Consultation in situ On-going feedback from parents at activities, courses, trips Informal Formal Feeder groups Forums Parent network Parent Rep. groups Some or all of whom sit on partnerships Working groups Holiday activities

8 8 Impact of Parental Involvement Surveys Survey of parents views Family Friendly standard for library services Consultation in situ At Travellers site site based service delivery increased immunization rates Consultation with fathers fathers choice of activities 659 father/male carer attendances in 2004

9 9 Impact of Parental Involvement Consultation in situ Consultation with Bangladeshi community over barriers to health meet the professionals day identification of Bengali speaking GP for outreach surgeries sessional workers in community Working Groups Summer holiday activity group development of 7 holiday activities attended by 750 parents and children

10 10 Strategies for Involving Parents Making decisions about the whole programme Consultation in situ at activities/events Surveys Building trust and relationships – informal events Talking with experienced Sure Start parents Confidence building Informal ways of talking about Sure Start Parent-only meetings to discuss their views Parent-friendly meetings with professionals which: - Avoid jargon - Give parents enough information about whats being discussed - Regularly give parents the chance to speak Value opinions; consult regularly; briefly; face-to-face; feed back results; act on suggestions Brief; accessible; with incentives; follow up at activities; follow up mailings; follow up phone calls;

11 11 Parents Views of Involvement in Decision-Making On being trained as a Parent Representative: Now we can put something back into the programme instead of taking out all the time We can take the views and queries of other parents who go to the playgroups to the meetings, and take information from the meetings back to them We can suggest agenda items

12 12 Professionals Views of Parental Involvement The benefits of parents and senior managers working together is that they have a tendency to keep each others feet on the ground (Sure Start Executive) Its been torturous, and difficult changing our ways of working, and really listening to parents; its brought us into the 21st Century! (Health Manager) The draft Childrens Act puts more emphasis on partnership with parents, and thats good, because parents are concerned about good outcomes too, not just about being parents (Social Services Executive)

13 13 Challenges Organisational Takes time and resources to develop and sustain at the formal levels Challenges organisational culture and practices Language Affects time tables and priorities Process Issue of how representative Parent Rep. views are and approaches to addressing this Wider Parent Network events Consultation at Fun Days At first, it was all over our heads…professionals are listening more now (Parent)

14 14 Childrens Centre Guidance …ensure the views of children, parents/carers and families are valued and taken into account in the planning, delivery and evaluation of services. Particular attention will need to be paid to their views on how to ensure these services will be accessible, and culturally appropriate for the communities they serve. Sure Start Unit, A Sure Start Childrens Centre for Every Community; Phase 2 Planning Guidance (2006-08) July 2005

15 15 Implications for Childrens Centres Parental involvement in decision-making works in a number of ways Many more parents have been involved at informal levels of decision-making than at formal levels To sustain it, there will need to be dedicated resources – dedicated staff Approaches to parental involvement need to be embedded in practice at each stage of service design and delivery Approaches need to be stepped, flexible, responsive, diverse and on-going

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