Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Parental mental health problems can have a dramatic impact on the whole family, especially the child/children. Parents can find it difficult at times to parent effectively and children can sometimes be neglected and feel confused as a result; in some circumstances this can lead to children experiencing their own mental health problems too. If families are left unsupported this can lead to family breakdown and statutory service intervention.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind Supporting Families project works with families where the parent has an identified mental health problem which is impacting on the whole family and where issues are having a detrimental effect on the child/children's health and wellbeing.

The project has been commissioned for two years by Northumberland County Council; however funding is due to run out in March 2018. The project has been extremely successful in our area with families benefitting from improved physical and mental health as well as improved relationships.

As part of an early help package the project worker engages with families as soon as difficulties are identified and meets with the whole family to carry out an assessment. Each member of the family, including extended family, such as grandparents, discuss their concerns and support needs and individual support plans are developed. These support plans then feed into a whole family support package which helps the family come together as a whole unit, building strength in their relationships and enabling them to thrive.

Family outcomes and progress are monitored in two ways, the first using Outcomes Star which is a client centred monitoring tool focussing on people's goals and aspirations, and the second is the Northumberland County Council Supporting Families Outcome plan which identifies particular areas of concern for families who require early support; clients are monitored against the significant and sustained outcomes identified in the plan.

Staff work with people on a 1-2-1 basis to achieve the outcomes they have identified for themselves and everyone together to help them realise their family goals.

In addition to the family package there will be more structured team around the family (TAF) meetings which provide a wider multi-agency response to issues that the family may be experiencing. TAF meetings involve a number of partner agencies who are able to work with the family to provide specialist support they desperately need. The support worker acts at as an advocate at the these meetings to ensure the right services are in place at the right time.

Much of the work involves working with parents to enable them to parent effectively while seeking help for their mental health issues. This may involve establishing household routines, improving communication skills in family, improving opportunities for parents to engage with others or even exploring their aspirations for the future when they are on the road to recovery.

For children in the family work can focus around education, including understanding the situation and the impact on their own health and wellbeing. Working with the children and other local partners the project aims to improve the situation for young people by getting them more involved in activities and groups, as well as establishing boundaries and routines when behavioural concerns arise.

The worker ensures that children and young people are safeguarded through this process and that their wellbeing remains at the heart of the project.

The funding would allow us to continue this much needed service which will end if no further funding is secured. It will allow our part time worker to support 12 families over 12 months; working with an average of 3 children in each family that equates to 36 children/young people.

We need people to vote for this project because there are limited services in Northumberland and families are in desperate need of this vital service. thank you!

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind

Moment of Pride

We are a voluntary sector project that works with the whole family not just the individual; this is rare. As a result we have seen families in difficulty not only survive, but thrive in Northumberland. I am proud that we have such dedicated staff who keep clients at the centre of the work.

Location: Northumberland, United Kingdom