Salford Family Partnership is how we offer early help for children, young people and families in Salford. This short animation will tell you more about how we work and how to access the service.
Transcript from animation
Female voice: I love being a parent but sometimes it can be hard. Mostly as a family we get through things, if we need advice we Google it or ask our family and friends. But recently things just got on top of us. I shared with our health visitor that we were struggling, and she put us in touch with the Salford Early Help Service.
Male voice: A worker got in touch with us over the phone. They were really polite and checked whether it was a good time to speak. They told us a little bit about how they work and what they could help with then arranged to visit us at home at a time that suited us.
Female voice: At the visit, the worker told us that they wouldn’t tell us what to do, instead they would help us to think through and celebrate what was strong about our family and then help us to set out which things we wanted to improve on. Also, they were really straight with us and said they wouldn’t be involved forever and would only stay involved until we felt ready to go it alone again.
Male voice: Over the next few weeks our worker met with us and the children. The children really enjoyed the sessions as the worker made it fun for them and used words that they could understand. The sessions were really supportive and we felt we could trust our worker. We did write things down on paper but our worker left these with us. They explained they had to write up the information when they got back to the office as this helped them understand where they were up to with their work and helped their manager know what they were doing. They made it clear that this information was ours and we could have a copy if we wanted.
Female voice: In the sessions, they helped us list our goals and helped us to see that trying to changed everything all at once was really difficult. They then helped us pick out and agree the goal we would like to start with.
Male voice: There was a lot of pressure on our family with money issues, problems with our son in school, and feeling a bit out of our depth as parents, particularly with caring for our baby daughter. This was all impacting on our relationship and we were both worried about rowing in front of the kids. So that’s where we started the work.
Female voice: I was really nervous about talking about our relationship but our worker was really respectful. We were helped to identify small things we would try to do differently to be able to resolve things before they escalated into big arguments. We also broke these task down so we both really understood what we were doing, when and how. We were then given time to try things out. Our worker met with us and it felt great when we were able to say we’d achieved our tasks. We didn’t get it right straight away but even then, together we explored why it hadn’t worked and adjusted our plan.
Male voice: The support really worked and when our worker asked how it had felt I said: “We never made the time to talk before and this has really helped us focus on our issues. It’s not about blame it’s how we can move forward as a couple.”
Now that things were calmer at home we chose to tackle the issues our son was having in school. With our permission, our worker arranged a meeting at school with the class teacher and with our health visitor. Again, the meeting focused on what was strong about our family rather than just the issues we were having. School said it was really useful to know about our concerns and to understand some of our pressures at home. We came up with a plan together, with everyone doing their bit which felt like some pressure was taken off us.
Female voice: After three months we didn’t need to meet with our worker so often. They still checked in with us and we took the time to look at what we had achieved. We agreed it was time to go it alone but rather than just waving goodbye our worker helped us think through what we would do and where we would get help if things started to slip again.
Son’s voice: I feel happier now because mum and dad aren’t shouting all the time. I’m also doing better in school and my teacher is making sure I’m ok and giving me extra help.
Male voice: Also, we felt that we wanted to know more about how to be good parents so before closing our worker arranged for us to do some online parenting. This was really good because it was something we could do together, in our time, at our own pace.
We still keep in touch with our health visitor and school because we’ve realised talking things through and keeping each other up to date really helps. Also, we like to make sure we’ve got the information we need to make good choices as parents.
Male voice: The pressures are still there…
Female voice: but we feel more able to cope with them.
Practitioner voice: If you feel you would like some help and advice then you can get in touch with your local early help family hub in a number of ways:
Family Hubs are places in your local community offering services and support for families from different agencies in one building. Find out more about Family Hubs.
Use the links below to access lots of information to help you and your family.
If you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child, it is very important that you contact Salford City Council Bridge Partnership on 0161 603 4500 from 8.30am to 4.30pm. If you need to speak to somebody about your concern outside these hours, please call the Emergency Duty Team on 0161 794 8888.