At Children 1st, in Midlothian, we know families want to provide the best possible start in life for their children, writes Fiona Herriot.
We also recognise that families may need extra, for example, where they are experiencing challenges in their life due to health issues, substance misuse or domestic abuse.
We want to ensure that children enjoy life and that children and families are able to deal with challenges that come along.
Our family support team works alongside parents, children and carers to help strengthen relationships, build confidence and help shape positive futures by preventing difficulties developing into crisis.
We work with parents and carers to help them offer caring, supportive parenting and to be confident in their parenting abilities, to ensure that children enjoy life, are healthy and supported to attend and achieve in playgroup, nursery or school.
We are currently funded to support families affected by parental/carer substance misuse both current and historical, and young carers, aged between seven years to 18, who have a caring role within the family.
We can support the whole family and also offer a young person group work aimed at building confidence, self esteem and developing strengths.
We have a range of different ways that we offer support to families, including supporting parents to establish routines and boundaries, support with practical concerns such as budgeting and housing and support to develop social networks and access community resources.
Families are also able to use ParentLine Scotland, the national confidential helpline for anyone caring for or concerned about a child, on 08000 28 22 33. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-9pm, and can provide support, advice and information in the evening when local workers and volunteers might not be available. All our services are free of charge.
To find out how Children 1st might help or to make a referral contact us at Children 1st (Midlothian Services), 40/9 Hardengreen Business Park, Dalkeith, by phone on 0131 654 9540, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website www.children1st.org.uk
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