Launch of online guides for parents in Warwickshire

New parents and expectant parents in Warwickshire are now able to access three free online guides funded by Warwickshire County Council’s Smart Start Programme.

The guides have been designed by the NHS and are part of the acclaimed ‘Solihull Approach’ programme, which supports mums, dads and carers to build positive relationships with their infants and children. The main aim of the guides is to help parents and carers to strengthen the emotional resilience and wellbeing of their infants and children – so they’re able to bounce back from life’s various challenges as they move toward adulthood.

Nationally it has been shown that around 60% of children develop what’s called a ‘secure attachment’ with their parents or other important caregivers. Statistics also show that by the time children reach 14 years of age, 50% of mental health problems are already established. We know we need to act earlier in Warwickshire to help grow parents’ confidence, responsiveness and relationships with their infants.

Local research undertaken in 2016 with over 1,127 Warwickshire parents found they had wanted more opportunities to learn about becoming a parent, particularly during pregnancy and the early days after birth. Responding to this, we are now launching our online guides to help parents feel more supported and able to deal with issues as they arise.

The three online guides on offer are:

• Understanding your pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby

• Understanding your baby

• Understanding your child

Each guide is suitable for parents, grandparents and other carers. They can all be completed flexibly at a parent’s own pace.

Helen King, Deputy Director of Public Health for Warwickshire County Council said “Becoming a parent can be a daunting experience for anyone and it’s easy to question whether what you are doing is right. What we are trying to do by launching the online guides is to show parents that we are there to support them every step of the way from pregnancy through to teenage years. Children change as they grow, as do the challenges and joys of being a parent. This is why we’re offering three guides to suit the needs of all Warwickshire parents, at different stages of parenthood.”

Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said “These online guides are a great way for all parents to increase their knowledge and confidence and learn how to build and maintain positive relationships with their infants and children. I would encourage all parents and carers to visit the website and find out more about these valuable, free resources.”

For more information on these FREE guides, parents are encouraged to visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/parentguides. A short video is also available to help professionals promote these guides to parents and carers: https://youtu.be/CV_6vJkDEWw