Groups and Family Support Work

In our Baby Brunch Group we promote baby led weaning. We also take part in arts and crafts activities, such as hand and feet prints, and some messy play which the babies love. Not so sure about the parents, however they are more than happy for the Haven to deliver the messy play and contain the mess!

As well as our ongoing Dads’ Community Group, which engages dads throughout the year, four dads (new to fatherhood) also completed the Becoming Dad course. Whilst they had never met each other before, they quickly bonded over the shared experience (as well as a game of football and plenty of good food). Feedback from the group demonstrated an improved understanding of their child’s physical and emotional needs, as well as the impact of stress and drug/alcohol use on their child. Congratulations to the dads. Thanks goes out to Anna Crystal (Stepping Stones) and Graeme Richards (Prepare) who also support the group. Graeme in particular demonstrated high levels of professionalism by playing football wearing the ‘Bump’ pregnancy simulator, empathy is truly his middle name!

Parenting – It’s a Puzzle is a specially designed parenting group for parents of children below the age of three. Working in partnership with Community Learning and Development Worker Melinda Peto, we have nine parents involved each week. The programme involves hints and tips from the parents on how they deal with some of the challenges facing parents. Working through some of the conflicts that arise in relationships, supporting each other through the tough times and celebrating the good times. The programme concentrates on getting the best out of family life. This course will continue after Christmas and then in March parents will be encouraged to join the Raising Children with Confidence group.

The Haven are currently involved in a pilot project for Incredible Years PoPP team. We currently have six families from Circle’s Harbour Project attending a LAAC Incredible Years Group in Sandy’s Community Centre in Craigmillar for 18 weeks. The families that are referred are in the process of a positive rehabilitation plan with their children. The families are attending and engaging well, with support from their Harbour Workers in attending the group initially.

The Haven is also running a pilot Mindfulness Group with Gillian Muir from Moment is Now, for eight weeks with seven women. The parents are commenting that they are enjoying some of the techniques that Gillian is teaching. We hope to have this group as a permanent feature in our programme next year.

Family Support Work

Working in partnership with families to support them through various tough times they are experiencing has been a rollercoaster this term.  Additional issues such as homelessness, benefit caps and low attendance at school are some of the challenges families are facing on a daily basis. Family work has been encouraging parents to work through some of these issues, advocating for them in professional meetings and developing their existing skills.

Exciting New Post

Pupil Equity Funding has been provided as part of the Attainment Scotland Fund. This funding has been allocated directly to schools and is targeted at closing the poverty related attainment gap. Craigentinny and St Ninian’s Primary schools in Edinburgh have decided to come together to invest their Pupil Equity Funding towards employing a Family Support Worker through Circle. Jackie Law started this unique and exciting role in September. This post involves working closely with the schools and families to build supportive relationships. Jackie provides whole family support with the goal of improving school attainment.