As a board, we are delighted to partner with KidsMatter to bring their fantastic parenting programme to Ireland. With Thanks to Priorities Fund, we can enable 11 parishes (one from each diocese) to access KidsMatter facilitator training and support so that you can run the programme for families in your local community.
The vision is for every child to thrive, regardless of their situation, by supporting parents and carers as they navigate the challenges of family life. Whilst all parents need support, the KidsMatter programme has been created specifically to be effective and accessible for families facing disadvantages.
Many families who are economically disadvantaged experience the increased levels of stress that poverty places on them which can result in long-term emotional and social problems for children. KidsMatter, therefore, exists to help strengthen families and interrupt that negative trajectory. Research has shown that the most effective early intervention to help children is group-based parenting programmes. For children to thrive, it is important for mums, dads and carers to increase their well-being and confidence in their parenting skills.
There are two programmes: KidsMatter and BabiesMatter. Each parish taking part in the training can decide which programme best suits their current ministry with local families. The facilitator training will take place online over 4 days and each church will put forward ideally two people to take part. These facilitators will then run the programme at least twice during the following year. As this is a peer lead programme those taking part as facilitators do not need to have any previous experience of delivering training, there are no flip charts or PowerPoints in sight! The programme is designed to be accessible to those with limited literacy skills, so it is more conversation and relationship-based rather than “school” style teaching. The programme itself has 6 sessions with a taster session at the start and an additional booster session a month after completion.
With a rise in children under 15 being referred for mental health problems and fast dwindling resources to meet the need, particularly in the area of early intervention and especially for those children raised in financial adversity, it is increasingly vital that we as a Church find ways to support parents and carers in our communities. Through the KidsMatter programme you will offer both useful parenting tools for families to grab hold of, and stay alongside them as they grapple with those tools, offering genuine community and relationship.
Take some time to watch the video below and if you feel the programme could be used effectively in your parish/community then please complete the expression of interest form or contact Rachael to ask any further questions you may have (email@example.com). You can access the form here: https://form.jotform.com/231853196492060