OK Kids parenting project
Unique ‘Supernanny’ inspired parenting project ‘OK Kids’, run by Charter and funded by The National Lottery, has made a significant impact to the lives and communities of 128 families living in Charter accommodation
Launched back in 2010, Charter were successfully awarded £145,930 from the National Lottery Big Lottery Fund to run the 3 year parenting project for parents with children aged under 8 years of age throughout Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Monmouthshire.
One such parent who benefitted from the project is Joanne, a single mum of three young boys aged 3, 6 and 8, who felt very isolated, depressed and not in control of her life. Her eldest son had behavioural problems which were being copied by the youngest. Her homelife got so desperate that Jo would break down in tears and go to bed in the hope that the problems would go away.
Jo said ‘OK Kids worked with me to put together a plan to improve practical things, such as spending quality time with the children and how to deal with bedtime”.
We recognise the importance of effective parenting in the early years and through OK Kids can provide free, independent parenting support by a qualified childcare professional to families in the privacy of their own homes. This home-based approach has greatly helped minimise the stigma which can sometimes surround accessing parenting schemes.
The staff work together to support parents, to develop their parenting skills, techniques and support them to create bespoke strategies to help them tackle their children’s behaviour. By spending time with each family in their own home, staff quickly gain their trust and respect, enabling staff to directly observe the whole family’s behaviour pattern.
Andrew Jones, Projects and Partnerships Manager said ‘No one is born a brilliant parent and unfortunately there is no fool-proof manual to bringing up well-behaved and contented children’.
‘Positive feedback from the families has confirmed that this unique home-based approach has been highly successful, and has lead to an improved quality of life for both the families involved and the communities in which they live’.
OK Kids participants are primarily referred by Charter housing staff, although as awareness has increased of the project’s effectiveness, largely via local Mother and Toddler Groups, many parents have referred themselves.
Evaluation of the project clearly shows that OK Kids has had a significant impact on the lives of those families who participated in the project. 98% of the parents saying they felt more confident in coping with and managing their children’s behaviour. 96% reported a reduction of social isolation and an increase in social activity and involvement with other people and 94% reported an improvement in behaviour both within the home and the community.
OK Kids has attracted much interest from likeminded organisations and as demand for the service has increased, we are hoping to further extend the project in the coming years.
A 6 minute film featuring frank interviews with some of the families who have participated in the scheme is available for viewing via this youtube link