Background to the programme
The previous experience of the collaboration (Healthy Breakfasts) which was driven by the Centre for Childhood and involved the Local Mission, the Meeting Point to Listen to Youths (PAEJ), the Management for Public Health and Centre for Childhood, and a university study focussed on parenthood and instability, has shown the lack of help available to parents in precarious situations. Equally, the Local Mission has noted that the isolation of some young parents could be a major obstacle to their inclusion. The Local Mission, the Centre for Childhood and the PAEJ/DSP had concluded and decided to launch an initiative together called "Young Parent's Group".
Objectives of the programme
- To support and help the situation of young parents with work: to fight against the isolation of young parents; to establish an institutional and resourced network around these young people; to facilitate the expression of family problems which can be challenging.
- To promote the inclusion of children: to allow a secure and unpressurised trial where the parents are separated form their kids, to remove the obstacle of separation from their children and their care.
- To promote the process of professional and social involvement of young parents.
In 2012, this program has been conducted over two sessions comprising of six weekly sessions. 17 parents have participated accompanied by 8 children in the first session and 7 in the second. On average, 7 parents have been involved in each session (or have given their news) and at least five children were present.
In each session, after a welcome to parents and children in the reception hall, the group of young parents gathered and formed a circle to establish a speech circle, during which the children were taken to a waiting room, formed for this purpose, while allowing for free movement between the two spaces. The speech group was run by one psychologist from PAEJ and one from Young Childhood and they were supported by the health representative from the Local Mission and then a series of professionals from Family Planning, PMI and an association for mental health. The children's group was run by two young child workers.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
We are measuring the impact of the actions by:
- The steps towards autonomous enterprise: links between parents, subscriptions in organisations, setting up childcare solutions.
- The strengthening of parenting skills (the role of the parent to their child)
- the relaunch of the process of their social and professional rehabilitation.
- The evaluation of behavioural changes in the children: ease of separation, indicators of their habituation to the process, etc.
At this stage of the project, we note that three months after each session, one out of two parents had found a childcare solution. Besides that, three children have continued at PMI, four parents have followed up with a psychologist and four have had contact with family planning and mental health organisations.
The Young Parent's Group is the first measure in Villeurbane which hopes to offer a complete response to the problem of young parents in precarious situations. The close collaboration between different institutions allows them to work at the crossroads between prevention, social, health and inclusion.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Maternal and infant protection (PMI), the family planning group and the local measures for care for mothers and children (LAPS of SMIC) have worked according to their roles at each session.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Since January 2013, the program was suspended while they waited for finance from the Caisse nationale d’Allocations Familiales (Caf) via le REseau d’Appui and d’Accompagnement à la Parentalité (REAAP).
- The fact that access to a place in a creche at work is needed, complicates the good initiative of this program.
Suggestions for future improvement :
- In order to optimise the effectiveness of this measure, it's necessary to organise a longer follow-up for the users of the group , to a give them more time to benefit from regular childcare. This will allow them to create a more positive and secure link with an organisation. This long term program would require a 20% increase in the availability of the psychologist and the child carers in order to ensure the individual monitoring of the participants situation and to allow them to form links with organisations.
- The strengthening of the program in which children of these young people are put in a crèche is an important priority.
- The intercultural work is central and must therefore be done in advance.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Close collaboration between the Management of public health, the Childhood service and the Local Mission.
- This Young Parent's Group is aimed at young adults, especially young single mothers, between 16 and 25, who have a level of education no higher than the 5th year of school (college) and who rely on urgent social aid or the isolated parent allocation (API) as their only source of income.
- The Local Mission identifies and targets the public in individual interviews or during collective actions. A counsellor presents the group and proposes a helper.
Laureline BRUIN "Helping parents and the precarious" « Accompagnement à la parentalité et précarité » recherche action universitaire, institut de Psychologie, université LUMIÈRE LYON 2
"Parent's Helath Guide: Local town methods" «Guide Santé parentalité : l’approche des villes », réseau français des villes de l’OMS, presse de l’école des hautes études en santé publique, 2013, à paraitre
Delphine ZENI CADASSE "Young Parent's Group" « Le groupe jeunes parents : un dispositif clinique expérimental » mémoire de D.U. de thérapie groupale et familiale, Université LUMIÈRE LYON 2 en cours