The Community Parent volunteering experience is based on ‘giving’ to the community and also ‘receiving’ in terms of developing new knowledge and skills, personal development and employment opportunities. The learning programme is related to the ‘real world’ of their local communities supported by regular high quality supervision.
Our unique, high quality accredited training is specifically designed for Community Parents. The quality of support delivered to parents must meet appropriate standards and the City and Guilds 3599 Award in Work with Parents is integral to the package. Issues of confidentiality and active listening skills are crucial to the trusting relationships developed. Role boundaries need to be adhered to and made explicit; ground rules such as health and safety are essential; and it is important that a Community Parent avoids trying to ‘fix things’ creating a dependency. There is a particular emphasis on enabling self-help and building resilience.
The initial 'Me and My Community' course is an excellent ‘taster’ which provides an informal pathway for parents interested in taking the first step towards supporting other parents in their local community. An informal and enjoyable group learning experience is provided so as to overcome any previous negative experiences of formal teaching situations. We also provide a 'Me and My Community' train the trainer Course.
For volunteers who progress from the 'Me and My Community Course' to becoming a Community Parent, the introductory training package prepares them to start delivering this role. The ongoing training programme then dovetails with their accumulating volunteering experience and is delivered in tandem with supporting local parents. There is a particular emphasis on reflection, observing use of skills in practice, and building each Community Parent’s confidence and self-esteem.