Stepping Stones for Families
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An Evaluation of our a Family Wellbeing Service

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The Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Stepping Stones for Families commissioned Nick Hopkins Consulting to ask parents of children using the Family Wellbeing Service, as well as Stepping Stones and nursery staff, what impact the Service has had on parents’ health and wellbeing, parenting skills, parent/child and family relationships and children’s confidence and capacity to learn.

Our Family Wellbeing service works with Glasgow Council nurseries to provide holistic support to parents of pre-school children in north east and north west Glasgow.

We specifically wanted to understand which aspects of the Service were important and why.

“I don’t like to think I couldn’t have managed myself. I hope things would have got better even without the Service, I don’t like to think about where I was … The Service got me part of the way, and the nursery, but it was me that had to get up and go. I’m strong in myself, I’m just grateful they were there to help.”

The above quote highlights an important aspect of the work and that is never to underestimate the ability of parents to make positive changes to their lives. 

The Family Wellbeing services operate from 8 council nurseries with the workers as part of the nursery team although not employed by the nursery or the local authority. 

What did we find out?

The service had helped some parents to engage with other services, supporting parental involvement in decisions affecting them. Increased confidence reported by parents meant that, in some cases, they had accessed further services, suggesting better involvement and influence. The range of improvements that families experienced contributed to parents feeling more in control of their lives, and in a better position to make appropriate decisions for them and their families.

What was the impact on the child?

Children were calmer and more engaged at nursery following parental involvement with the service. Nursery staff and Stepping Stones staff were clear that the Service had resolved some child protection issues and prevented others from worsening. In addition, some children were seen as more appropriately clothed, better fed and generally healthier following engagement with the service.

What does the evaluation say about our early intervention model?

At one level, the model is simple – do what works to help parents in their lives. But it is also sophisticated, reflecting learning over time, and delivered by highly skilled staff making nuanced and difficult judgements about how best to support people in complex situations, undertaking multiple tasks as they do so.

Download the Evaluation Report here: