The pandemic has adversely affected early childhood development for many but this is particularly prevalent amongst those children and families who face challenges through lack of education, poverty, unemployment, broken relationships, poor housing, abusive relationships and mental health problems. Restore Hope wants to break the cycle of reduced social mobility in the Chilterns by providing intervention from birth so that children are able to have happy, social and productive lives.
The Early Years programme will deliver Circle of Security parenting courses, alongside a parent and toddler group: Hope Tots. Circle of Security is an attachment based, early intervention programme designed to enhance security between parents and their children. It helps parents understand their children’s emotional needs and build strong and healthy relationships so that their child can thrive. Hope Tots is a weekly group providing a safe space to put parenting skills into practice and also a place to build strong social networks for both parents and children.
The families attending are primarily social housing residents, often single parents who face significant economic hardship. It is common for mental health issues to be apparent in parents and a history of abusive past relationships. Families enter the programme via referral partners such as Health Visitors, Social Workers and Schools.
The Early Years Hope programme will work with 120 participants during the year, offering 6 ‘Circle of Security’ courses and providing space for a minimum of 25 new families to attend weekly Hope Tots sessions. The programme aims to: improve behaviour in children; develop their ability to separate well from parents, therefore getting them ready to thrive at school; improve peer support and social networks for parents; enable parents to actively invest in supporting other families and improve their ability to self-reflect and ask for help.
Funding will cover salaries and running costs for the programme.