Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has invested £750,000 to develop a programme of support for parents and carers who have concerns about their child. They may have noticed a change in their child’s behaviour, and/or, suspect that their child is involved in violence, criminality or potentially being exploited.
The service is free and confidential, and delivered by OasisUK, a charity which also successfully delivers the Greater Manchester Navigator programme to support young people affected by violence.
The service will provide family support workers who will offer 1:1 support including information and advice, advocacy, emotional support, signposting, and therapeutic training. Peer support groups will also be formed for parents and carers across Greater Manchester to connect with others who have been through similar experiences.
Parents and carers who have experienced the challenges facing young people have helped to design the service.
Kate Green, Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, said: “This service will provide a vital resource for parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s behaviour, criminality, or exploitation and wouldn’t necessarily know where else to turn.
“Parents have told us that having the option of anonymous information and guidance or 1:1 face-to-face support will provide a way of finding non-judgemental help and hopefully prevent situations from escalating.
“Through the delivery of our Navigator programme for young people it became clear that there was a gap for a similar service for parents and carers which this service will fill.”
Janet Berry, Director of Community Partnerships, Oasis, said: “Oasis is very pleased to be launching the new parent and carer service which supports the Violence Reduction Unit’s commitment to providing parents and carers practical advice, guidance, and support where they have concerns that their child is involved in youth violence or at risk.
“This is an incredibly important service that will provide parents and carers with the tools to support their children, build healthy family relationships and connection into local support networks.
Hannah Barton, Project Coordinator, Oasis, said: “We believe parents and carers are in the best position to support young people. We often speak to parents that are struggling to know where to get support or told that they are not eligible. The parent and carer support team recognises it is vital that these parents and carers are listened to. We are committed to finding the right support to prevent families reaching crisis point.”
Sarah Kendall, a parent who helped to design the service, said: “I feel really passionate about this service, and I was happy to help in the consultation to bring it to life. What I experienced was isolating and parents need to know that they’re not on their own when they see that change in behaviour from their child.”
Alison Cope, mother of Joshua Ribera who was murdered in 2013, and has helped to launch the parent and carer service in schools, said: “It is great to be a part of this project. It’s so important for parents and carers to make that first call, to have that conversation when you notice something that concerns you.”
Guidance and information can be accessed anonymously by visiting https://oasis-gm.org/, or a face-to-face appointment with the team can be organised by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article posted on: 03/10/2023 02:10pm