Community outreach work

We look to improve overall life opportunities for young parents and their children in Lambeth and measure impact in four areas:

  • fewer young parents - decrease in under-18 conceptions and terminations and reduction in the number of young mothers having more than one pregnancy
  • healthier children - improved health amongst children of young parents and decreased infant mortality
  • safer children - fewer children on a child protection plan, more with safe and regular contact where parents are separated
  • a more secure future - young mothers and fathers move to education, volunteering, training and work

To measure the impact we measure results against targets using mixed methodology capturing quantitative and qualitative data with standard self-reporting, data collection, various screening tools, staff and professional observations.

Quantitative data may include number of non-molestation orders, mothers leaving a violent relationship, children deregistered from Child Protection Plan; health indicators (medication, take up of counselling, access to health appointments, child meeting developmental milestones); social indicators (appropriate housing & benefits, moves to education & work eg CV, training course)

Qualitative reporting will include pre and post focus groups, self reporting, keyworkers’ reports, staff observations during contact sessions and feedback from crèche workers on child’s changing behaviour

In 2016 – 17, we worked with 119 young mothers, 23 young fathers and 43 pregnant young women one to one and ran 146 weekly groups for young parents and children at four children’s and community centres.

Family Assessment Services

“I was really scared when I first came as I had been somewhere like this before and I had my baby took off me. This place is so much nicer and you were honest with me. You lot told me what to do and I did it. Now I can leave with my kid and start a new life together.”  Mother

"There is a culture of continual reflection and analysis to inform further improvement."  Ofsted

We seek to provide the best possible future for children and to support parents with complex needs to become the best parents possible.

Houses are externally evaluated by Ofsted. Local Authorities are our customers for this service and we actively seek their views.

We consult with parents in many ways including: pre-placement questionnaires, daily logs, keyworker meetings and end of placement questionnaire. We may use various aids including visual prompts, tablets and the web-based Browsealoud for parents with a disability, learning needs and English as a foreign language.  The Parents Forum is an informal peer support group which includes parents who have left St Michael’s with and without their child. 

Monthly internal inspections of each house are both announced and unannounced. Inspections evaluate in particular evidence that parents are consulted throughout their assessment and that their wishes and feelings are considered.  The inspection also examines how well families are supported to enter and leave the placement, the wellbeing of the family and the safety of the children, and how well staff and volunteers feel supported.

Staff evaluate the service at weekly team meetings.

Evaluation helps shape service development. Parents’ feedback has resulted in changes to practice such as including external family members in the assessment process where feasible, actively encouraging visitors to help establish a support network for families, providing more group work to promote that peer learning and developing more tools for parents with learning difficulties.

Service developments also emerge through continuing staff training and team discussions: for example the 5-A-Day programme and the Keyring  tool.

In 2016-17 we worked with 58 families including 70 children.

Read more about the impacts of our work in the Impact Report below.

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