Sometimes things can get tough and parenting can be difficult.
Here at Evenwood C of E Primary school we are pleased to have the support of a Parent Support Advisor, a role which supports our parents, with many aspects of parenting life.
Rachel has been the parent support advisor at Evenwood C of E Primary School for over 10 years now, she also works across 5 other primary schools in the local area. The job of a PSA it is to make sure all our families are well informed, feel welcome in school and have the individual support they may need.
Who am I?
My name is Rachel Stevens and I have worked as parent support advisor since 2007 and as a family worker in the Cleveland area before that. I am also a mum, so know how challenging it can be to be a parent.
What do I do?
I offer early intervention for families looking for support and advice around many aspects of parenting life such as, parenting strategies, routines & boundaries, behaviour management, debt, family relationships such as separation and/or bereavement. I also support with issues around education such as attendance, lateness, and supporting good mental health.
I have also ran parenting courses such as Strengthening Families, Family Links Parenting Puzzle and Webster Stratton parenting programme.
How do I do it?
Every day is a new day, a new challenge, and I have to be flexible to meet family needs. During the recent lockdown I have offered telephone and video support and one to one support in a safe place i.e. outside in your garden adhering to social distancing rules. I hope to one day return to being able to visit families at home or in school to talk about any issues families are facing.
I also have a close relationship with a range of agencies in the area whom I can refer to for supporting families such as One Point, Health Visitors, School Nurses and Emotional Resilience Nurse, NorthStar housing, YMCA, Trussell Trust food bank and other services providers in our area.
In the past we have enjoyed having families in school to take part in in activities with children such as, family learning projects with the Sunderland Foundation of Light.
A big challenge during lockdown has been to support families who are in need of practical support and dealing with huge changes to their incomes. The Auckland Project worked with us to provided weekly fresh fruit and vegetables to our families. The range of food available was great, families enjoyed selecting fresh produce and making healthy meals together.
Parents can be referred or self-refer:
When might you need to contact your Parent Support Advisor?
“I have a question about parenting.”
”My child is starting school and I’m so nervous about it.”
“I need help getting my children to school on time.”
“I’m worried about parents evening.”
“My child’s behaviour is getting out of hand.”
“I’m worried my child is being bullied.”
“I’m struggling since my partner left, what can I do?”
“I’m not sure how to talk to my child/ren.”
“I would like someone to talk to.”
” I’m worried about money and trying to keep it from the children but its affecting what I can provide for them.”
Feedback from parents:
Events organised by Rachel
Mother’s Day gift
We would usually invite Mum’s and female family members into school to join the children for a Mother’s Day lunch or afternoon tea. Due to lockdown, this could not happen so Rachel organised for all the children to take home a gift for their mum’s. As you can image, it went down a treat.
Each family received a Christmas hamper packed full of tins, fresh fruit and vegetables and a couple of treats. This was achieved by Rachel applying to various companies for funding and donations.
“Thankyou for our Hamper, Merry Christmas to you all x”
“Thank you so much such an amazing act of kindness from all involved xx”
“Lovely thing to do… This school is definitely one of the best “
“Thank you so much for organising this for families, it’s very much appreciated. Merry Christmas to you all x”
Eat Them To Defeat Them
Rachel started an initiative in school to get the children tasting and experiencing a wider variety of fruit and vegetables. At the end of the 10 week session the children were given a pack to take home and share with parents.
Rachel organised a litter pick with the community to tidy up Evenwood.
Father’s Day Breakfast
Rachel organises an annual event to celebrate all the male role models in the children’s lives.
Parents Against Child Exploitation (Pace) UK
Talk PANTS & Join Pantosaurus – The Underwear Rule | NSPCC
Action For Children | Children’s charity | For safe and happy childhoods
Mental Health and Emotional Support for Adults
Mental Health and Emotional Support for Children