The Forward Leeds Family Plus team have ensured they continued to deliver high-quality care to families through the COVID 19 outbreak.
The Family Plus team work with parents getting support for alcohol or drug issues alongside their Key Worker. They provide extra support for the whole family including young children. Over the last few months the team have adapted the service they offer to deliver advice, guidance and support virtually, including weekly video calls, alongside practical resources such as activity packs that are posted or home-delivered when possible.
Lead Practitioner of the Family Plus team Sophie Parker said: “The activity packs were developed by our team as an immediate response to lockdown back in March. They have been designed to support parents with ideas and activities for them to do with their children at little or no cost.
“The response to the first activity pack from staff and families was so positive that the team developed a second version with new ideas for families to do over summer.”
The Family Plus team also sourced funding to distribute some ‘bags of creativity’ through a local organisation called SCRAP in Farsley. These resource packs were crammed full of recycled and re-usable goodies such as materials, craft objects, paper for children and parents to use for imaginative play and creativity.
Sophie continued: “The feedback from families was fantastic with the ‘bags’ looking more like ‘sacks’. One parent described it as ‘Christmas coming early’.
To make sure that children continue to have a voice and are seen, sessions via video calls have been offered to families and where appropriate one-to-one appointments with the children. Families have also taken part in quizzes and other practical fun activities such as making playdough, all over video calls.
Feedback from parents who benefitted from the Family Plus service during lockdown included:
“I really liked that I could Zoom with my Family Plus worker. I’m more of a parent now and make more time for my daughter and make sure this is good quality time spent doing things with her instead of just being in the same room. I am now 12 weeks sober”.
“We found Family Plus really helpful, so many people involved who didn’t listen to us, you became involved and we felt listened to”
“It’s been very hard, we only managed one face to face visit but our Family Plus worker adapted and sent things out for the boys and us which were a big help. She phoned every week to check-in and gave us hints and tips on things to do with the boys. Having that support made me feel less stressed, so I didn’t smoke as much as I think I would have, especially in the school holidays”
Fundraising for Family Plus
In September staff from Forward Leeds are raising money for the Family Plus team by undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in one day.
The Family Plus team will be able to use this money for more activities and resources. The team are also hoping they can do even more such as offer children events like going bowling, or bringing in guests such as Lion Learners.
You can make a donation to the Family Plus team on the GoFundMe webpage for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.