Being a parent can be tough. Being a parent on lockdown is tougher still.
Public Health Wales is offering all parents, parents-to-be, grandparents and carer-givers free access to a series of online courses designed to help them understand the development and emotional milestones of their children, covering everything from pre-birth to late teens.
The four evidence-based courses have been designed by NHS and other experts to provide extra support to all, alongside more traditional help from family, friends and professionals.
Amy McNaughton, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Wales said: “Healthy family relationships are important in supporting children’s wellbeing and development, particularly in the earliest years of life.
“Families in Wales are living through extraordinary times. I can’t stress enough that it is completely normal to need help; and that it is ok to ask for and accept it.”
Initially launched by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the bilingual service has been adopted by Public Health Wales for an initial 12-month trial. During this time every parent in Wales can access the ‘In Our Place’ website for free.
“The easy to use courses will give a little extra help and support to parents in understanding their relationships with their children as they adapt to changes in family routines,” continues Mrs McNaughton.
“The courses explore topics including play, styles of parenting, sleep, temper tantrums, communications and more, and are all available online from now until May 2021.”
To get access users just need to visit www.inourplace.co.uk and use the code ‘NWSOL’ if you live in North Wales, and ‘SWSOL’ if you live in Mid, West or South Wales. Then simply choose the courses that are most relevant to their child or children, split into four easy to use sections covering:
- Understanding pregnancy, labour birth and your baby
- Understanding you baby
- Understanding your child
- Understanding your teenager’s brain
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said: “We know that parents and care-givers are facing new challenges trying to adapt to today’s situation so we’re working to help them to find the positives through these times. As part of that, we’re supporting Public Health Wales’ initiative and other approaches through our ‘Stay Home. Stay Positive’ campaign.
“This innovative approach means an evidence-based parenting programme is available on a national basis, adding to the rich and varied support and advice already available across Wales.”
Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, added: “This is such a fantastic resource and I’m so pleased to hear that Public Health Wales has decided to invest in such a practical tool.
“These are extraordinary times and families across the country are adapting to new, often difficult and stressful environments. All of this is impacting on children’s wellbeing. This free new resource will hopefully support caregivers in Wales to create and maintain healthy family relationships.”
The courses have already helped many parents and carers increase their confidence in their parenting skills and resulted in calmer and happier households for everyone.