With thanks to Korkor Ceasar, liaison health visitor, for her on-going input into this section of the website.
I have found that resources for parents in the region covering such things as sleep and behaviour are quite difficult to find out about. It is also a bit of a fluid scene with courses and drop-in groups waxing and waning, often due to funding issues. I would like to be able to gather together a list of useful resources for you but apologise in advance if any of them no longer exist. Perhaps you could let me know if that is the case. Please also let me have information on other courses or services you know about. I have listed them under age group sub-headings but some of the resources are applicable across the age groups.
1) RESOURCES FOR PARENTS OF INFANTS
Click here for a list of Waltham forest BREASTFEEDING drop-in groups (as of 2014)
The British Dietetic Association has some nice leaflets on healthy foods for children. For a weaning advice sheet, try http://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/WeaningYourChild.pdf
Low income families may be eligible for Healthy Start vitamins and vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables. Pregnant women qualify as do families with children under 4 years old. Pregnant teenagers qualify whatever their income state. Click here to go to the Healthy Start website’s professionals area where you can even do a 2 hour CPD course on Healthy Start principles: http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/en/fe/information_for_health_professionals.html. Application forms for parents are on the home page.
Wood Street clinic runs a “Fun and Movement” multi-agency play group for children with Down’s syndrome within the borough of Waltham Forest. Call the Early Years Coordinator on 0208 430 7909 for information. There is also a local Down Syndrome Parent Support Group which meets at Higham Hill Children’s Centre as well as at Wood Street.
2) RESOURCES FOR PARENTS OF PRE-SCHOOLERS
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some good leaflets on various issues related to emotional well being. Try http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfo/mentalhealthandgrowingup/sleepproblemsinchildhood.aspx for information on lots of different sleep problems.
http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/childrencentres-leaflet.pdf shows where the local children’s centres are and what they are supposed to be able to offer families. You would need to contact them individually to find out what exact services they have currently. Their contact addresses and individual websites are listed at http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/education/waltham-forest-early-years/childrens-centres.htm. You can download the following documents kindly sent to us by Waltham Forest here:
TOPS groups (toddler drop in groups)
Family Information Service referral form (for professionals wishing to refer a family for help with childcare costs, free 2 year old places)
Similar information for Redbridge is at http://find.redbridge.gov.uk/category.aspx?zoneid=5&categoryid=44457 .
There is a good directory of useful contacts for parents in West Essex at http://www.themonkeytreemagazine.co.uk/content/view/114/ but you will find that some of the links don’t work unfortunately.
The direct link to Waltham Forest’s website on education including information on free nursery places for 2 year olds is http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/education.htm. Healthcare workers can refer a 2 year old for a free nursery place (38 hours a week) if they satisfy the eligibility criteria below. Places are however very limited.
Eligibility criteria for free early years education for 2 year olds in Waltham Forest is now the same as for free school meals. Individual cases, particularly if there are special educational needs, may be considered. See http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/Services/Education-grants-free-school-meals.aspx.
Every Child Matters at Barclay Children Centre, Canterbury Road, Leyton E10 6EJ. Support and advice for parents and carers and a sensory play area for children and families who may have additional special needs held on Tuesdays 0930hrs to 1100hrs. Call 0208 518 7015 for more information.
Parents may like to have a look at http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/change-for-life-kids.aspx for information on how to keep their children fit and healthy.
3) RESOURCES FOR PARENTS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN
The Waltham Forest Community Learning and Skills Service runs a huge number of adult learning courses, including at least 20 different parenting courses (http://www.walthamforestclass.gov.uk/familylearning/fm.aspx#parenting). Themes include “living in extended families”, “calm parent, calm children”, “anger management for parents” and “time for teenagers”. For more information on course dates and fees, visit their website at www.walthamforestclass.gov.uk. The parenting courses are free.
Special Needs Information Partnership is the register for children with disabilities and special education needs in Waltham Forest. Information is available at http://www.onelcommunityservices.nhs.uk/services/walthamforest/child/scs/specialneedsinformationpa/
Waltham Forest has a new Children and Young People on line Directory covering all ages with a “what’s on” guide as well. Take a look at http://walthamforest.childrensservicedirectory.org.uk/home.htm. Click here for a poster on free Educational Psychologist drop in sessions in autumn 2011 in the borough.
Lots of helpful leaflets covering parenting issues right up to severe mental illness for parents of children of all ages at http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/mentalhealthandgrowingup.aspx
Waltham Forest has provided us with the following downloadable documents relevant for this age group and current as of January 2011:
MEND is a national project to encourage children (and adults) into a healthier lifestyle. They run exercise and weight control programmes for all different age groups. Try http://www.mendprogramme.org/home for general information on the project, links to how to refer children and a list of the current venues around London. It also has a BMI calculator on the home page.
Outer North East London community dieticians run similar groups for children called “Go for it” and “Teen Why Weight” which I have found, for some reason, impossible to find on the internet. Children in Waltham Forest can be referred using the usual community dietician referral form. Criteria for referral to a dietician in Redbridge are at http://www.onelcommunityservices.nhs.uk/content_files/general-docs/paediatric_referral_criteria_May_2009.pdf.
4) RESOURCES FOR PARENTS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN
Invaluable information for parents on understanding and surviving their children’s adolescence: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/youngpeople/adolescence.aspx
Young people get much of their information from the internet. Sites with “nhs” or “gov.uk” in them are generally sensible sites. Great Ormond Street Hospital has a good site, http://www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk/teens/, on teen health written for teenagers and it links to other vetted sites too.
Try http://www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk/teens/life/girls/puberty_sex_health/private_parts/periods.html for information on periods which is a bit dry and medical but links to some more accessible FAQ pages which would be a good start for pubertal girls worried about when and how their periods are going to start.
http://www.teenagehealthfreak.net/ is a popular site put together by 2 doctors and seems to cover most things that play on teenagers’ minds! One of the authors has now put together lesson plans on sex and relationships and health and weight on a second website worth looking at: www.youthhealthtalk.org.
The council has a Youth Support Service which includes the “teenage pregnancy service, information, advice and guidance services (formerly delivered on behalf of the borough by Connexions North East and the Futures Careers Management)… The youth support service’s primary aim is to improve outcomes for young people 13-19 years and up to 25 for people with disabilities, broadening the range and quality of experiences available to them”. Take a look at http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/education/youth-service.htm and some of the sites that it provides links to. I am not quite sure whether this service has taken over from the local Connexions service, see http://www.connexions-northlondon.co.uk/walthamforest/. Connexions is a national organisation, with advisors placed in many secondary schools, so if you are accessing this page from a different borough you may like to search for Connexions in your area. West Essex’s connexions service has its own website - www.essexconnexions.co.uk – and they say they offer impartial information and advice and guidance on 13-19 year olds’ life choices. They have a number of centres in Essex that are not based in schools which some teenagers prefer.
Haven House is a children’s hospice providing services for children 0-19 years old who have life-limiting conditions and who are unlikely to reach adulthood. Find out more on eligibility and the services they offer at www.havenhouse.org.uk. There is a youth club for 11-19 year olds in Walthamstow which sometimes gets extended into a teenage sleepover package at the hospice. There is also a monthly coffee morning for parents and carers to share experiences and get support. They have a support group for siblings and a toy library which loans (free) specialist toys and equipment for children with additional needs to use in their own home.
www.staying-positive.co.uk runs workshops for young people aged 12 – 18 years, living with a long-term condition (eg. sickle cell disease, diabetes, thalassaemia). They are delivered by teams of 3 trained facilitators aged between 15 and 25 years, all of whom have a long-term condition. A trained ‘responsible adult’ is present at the workshops to support their delivery. Staying positive are currently recruiting 15-25 year olds with a chronic illness to train as facilitators. Click here for further information. They are running a course in Reading over the February 2011 half term and still have places on it.
www.rcpsych.ac.uk has some very nice factsheets for parents and schools on various mental health issues as part of their “focus” series. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/ is a charitable organisation committed to supporting the emotional well being of young people and this site is aimed at secondary school aged children.
Information on food allergies and intolerances is available at http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthissues/foodintolerance/
Page last updated: 17th July 2014