PM’s announcement – great news, but how will people find the support?

The Prime Minister’s announcement today about increased investment in parenting, relationships and mental health is greatly welcomed.

Stronger families will lead to stronger communities and let’s see to ensure parents who gain confidence in their role, support their friends to do so too.  We welcome the focus for those parents who need to most help, but let’s not forget there are challenges for all.

Even more important is relationship support.  Relate do an amazing job of providing high quality support to couples, but there is very little else.  Parenting becomes a much harder job when there is not a stable relationship undergirding the family.  We trust that the increased investment will be used for prevention as well as breakdown.

Yet, still there is a fundamental issue being faced by every Local Authority.  How do we make sure information about services is available, up-to-date and accessible.  How do we make sure those in need of support, get the help they need – when they need it? 

It’s a constant challenge and one the CommunityConnect team is working hard to tackle.  We recognise that there are lots of amazing support services that people just don’t know about.  This can be because limited budgets mean organisations don’t have time, expertise or finance to make sure their services are publicised or it can be that they have enough people coming thorugh the door that they don’t need to advertise.

Our drive is to make sure that information can be found easily – especially for the people who are not familiar with ‘the system,’ but find themselves with needs and really don’t know where to turn.  Our goal is to make it possible to get the right support quickly and painlessly, even when you don’t know what is available for you!

We have piloted the CommunityConnect model in Barking & Dagenham – mapping local service and making it very easy for people to find the support they need.  That includes making sure that parents know what support is available and couples know who to turn to – it also highlights the lack of such provision – thus why we welcome David Cameron’s announcement.

We want to make this service available in all Local Authorities, across the UK.  Strengthening families, individuals and the community – joining up what already exists and narrowing the gaps between support services.   

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