E1 Explain the needs of families which may require professional support.
Families may have a variety of needs, in which they need professional support. Families with a large number of children may not have the required amount of living space, this could mean that children are sharing beds, or parents are not sleeping in a room. Children will lack of sleep are proven to concentrate less and develop slower. Families that are suffering with poverty may not be able to afford a house or afford to pay the bills. This is where the family will gain financial support such as housing benefits, their council tax will be paid for them leaving them to pay for water, gas and electricity.
Sometimes this help still isn’t enough so families go without heating or hot water meaning they aren’t meeting their basic care needs. Within the community there will be many areas that will offer families in this situation help. They include, sure start centres, food banks, the church and other families. Families in this situation benefit from living in an inclusive community, where the area is safe and free of crime, be it anti-social behaviour of elders or racial harassment. Most areas have community support officers that the children will get introduced to in school or when out on the streets playing. If a family is new to the area and are of a different culture they may struggle to gain help, due to harassment, or lack of communication, be it language problems, or no phone. Money seems to be the main cause of most of the needs that require help.
E2 Explain the issues which may lead to stress in families.
There are many issues which may lead to or cause stress in a family, these can include, bereavement, new arrivals, a disabled family member, unemployment and poverty. Bereavement has a huge impact on children as well as adults; however children don’t always show that they are being affected. Bereavement will affect the family in different ways depending on who has passed on. If the deceased is a strong main family member, such as a sibling or a main carer the child will be affected hugely, this will have an effect on their whole routine. This could be because they are used to looking that person, or they are used to that person looking after them.
A new arrival can cause stress throughout the family, between the primary carers and between siblings, maybe even between children and carers. A baby causes stress between all relationships in a family. The primary carers may begin to argue this is because the child has taken over their day; they may become tiered meaning their mood changes and arguments crop up. The other children in the family may feel left out and start to resent the new arrival. This can cause older children to start misbehaving and younger children may hurt the new baby.
A disabled family member will cause stress between the family members, this could be through others interfering, or members feeling left out. When a disabled family member needs a lot of care and attention it takes over the families routine. When the main carers become unemployed it causes stress between them and throughout the family. A change I routine can affect all the family as well as the person becoming unemployed. If that person’s income was used to pay bills then the family may become homeless, they may have to live in a shelter or even worse the streets. Poverty causes stress on all the family they will start to cut back on privileges, this can cause bullying in schools when mufti-day is concerned.
E3 Explain the role of parents in children’s play and identify appropriate resources and toys.
The parent’s role is to keep the child safe and give them many play opportunities throughout the day. This will differ and change regarding the child’s age and abilities. The child will develop at their own speed meaning that they will need different resources to encourage development. It is believed that children learn best through play so neglecting the child of play is potentially stopping the child from learning healthily.
It is important that the resources are age appropriate for the children; this is for health and safety mostly due to small parts which may lead to choking. It is important that the toys are working properly too, as if the toy is supposed to talk out loud and flash the child will not be getting the most out of the toy and will lose interest meaning they will not develop. In the first few months of a baby’s life, when they can’t sit up or pick up objects babies like things that sing and move such as mobiles. It is good to look for mobiles with high-contrast colours and patterns. Many babies are particularly fond of mobiles that play music.
Small hand held toys such as rattles are good at this age as they will learn if they move their hand they are making the noise. Having soft music or nursery rhymes playing when interacting with the child will allow the parent to see how the baby responds to music. Babies like to see their own refection so a plastic mirror allows them to play safely. Soft books with sensory sections are good for babies to explore, at this age it is usually with their mouths instead of their fingers however if it’s noisy they will scrunch the book to make noise.
As they get older (6 months) the baby will have new needs and parents should fulfil them to the best they can. Babies enjoy play mats and activity bars. These usually contain toys that dangle above the child of are around the child when they are lying down this will encourage physical development. Activity bars are good for playing on the move in cars or in prams. Teddy’s become more of a comfort if the child has it constantly so that when they are going somewhere different they have a home comfort which is familiar to them. Rubber toys such as ducks will allow children to chew and explore whilst providing entertainment when squeaking if being gripped. Thick hard board books will allow children to help try and turn pages and they will enjoy listening to the story as well as looking at pictures.
At 12 months the baby will start to move more they will have gain a lot of strength in their arms and legs and toys such as large building bricks; push and pull toys; sorting and nesting toys; climbing gyms; balls; crayons; ride on toys; kitchens and picture books.
E4 Describe the benefits of communication between children, parents and practitioners.
It is beneficial to children, parents and practitioners to have good communication and a professional relationship. This can be good because sometimes parents feel left out and feel they are not making decisions on their child’s life. These decisions can be what they do, what they eat, whether they learn about different cultures if they are involved in lessons such as sex education and lessons involving celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. If a family had a different cultural background their beliefs may be different, meaning that their family may not want them to learn or take part in festive activities.
Some cultures have certain food that they can’t eat this is important that it is shared with setting so that we can respect their wishes and uphold their religions to the best we can. By respecting the family practitioners can keep the consistency of care the child is receiving at home. Meaning confusion is unlikely. Practitioners should have good relationships with the children in their setting, if that child is one of their key children it is important that the practitioner builds a relationship of trust so that the child can come to them with any problem or difficulty they may be having.
Communication can be in person, however sometimes parents do not have the same language as we do so in this case letter form in their mother tongue is useful. My setting have a baby book that they send home each night giving the parent the information they need such as what they have done, what they have eaten, their bowel movements, how much they have slept and if they have had any injuries, they will also be given a copy of the accident form.
E5 Discuss skills and strategies which are effective in supporting families.
There are many ways in which settings can support families effectively. Setting can support families by communicating with them as and when needed they can keep them updated on their child’s progress and what is happening by, text, email, letter, newsletter and some will do it in person. Families can also communicate with settings so that they can request they support they need. This can be for a short period of time or long term due to the seriousness of the issue. Providing suitable resources such as books or story sacks will mean that the setting is supporting the family help the child learn at home.
This is by allowing children to take home stories to read or by giving them the story sack so have a play with. Story sacks can help when the child is learning a new story such a little red riding hood. In the sack will be toys that will allow them to play and re-enact the story. They can sometimes be given maths activities and games if the child is lacking in a certain area making their learning fun for all the family. Settings can also introduce new services to the family if they require extra help; these can include family support officers, social workers and psychiatrists. This can be for many reasons but will be initially to support the family.
E6 Describe the types of support and information available to parents and families. C1 Evaluate the types of support which will enable parents to meet the needs of their children-
“We have defined ‘family support’ as all services which aim to promote family wellbeing by improving relationships in families and improving standards of living.”(Bruce.T. pg 32 2007) Children’s centres were providing a wide range of such services: home visiting, parenting courses, drop-ins, support groups, family learning activities, adult education and employment support. There are numerous amounts of support and information available for families. This will differ according to required help.
All families will have support workers however not all of the families will have social workers. Social workers are used for families that may have difficulties, such as child with disabilities or families where a parent is in or just out of prison or families where the child is lacking in development massively. Families will be offered sure start places, where they will learn new strategies and will be able to talk to other new parents. This is also good for the babies as they can interact with each other and learn how to play and share. The sure start centre by me offers mingle and munch with stay and play from 9.15am- 11.30 followed by bring your own lunch and eat at the centre from quarter to twelve to twenty five minutes past twelve.
There is also a stay and play group for two hours on a week day afternoon. They offer families early child care which is affordable, employment and training for families with young children; family support such as home visits, support for parents, information and guidance on parenting and specialist support for families. They offer health services – Anti natal advice, midwife sessions, dental care, speech therapists, breastfeeding, health and safety and help with healthy lifestyles. Sure start centers have many positive points these being, local flexibility, services including outreach and home visiting, family support and good quality play, learning and childcare facilities. Some negatives are that some people feel sure start is there to help people that are lacking in care for children, so they are put off.
A toy library lends or hires out toys, puzzles, and games, functioning either as a rental shop or a form of family resource program. Toy libraries offer play sessions for families and a wide range of toys appropriate for children at different stages in their development. Toy libraries provide children with new toys every week or two, saving parents money and keeping children from getting bored. Positive reasons for toy libraries are that they allow families to rent and borrow toys so that the children can play with their new interests this can also allow them to develop while the parent saves money to buy them new age appropriate toys to help them develop also some children have short interests so to buy the toys would be a waste if they only get played with once.
A child I know took an interest in dolls and prams, so they borrowed one from the toy library which he played with twice and has never shown interest again. Negatives, is that sometime it’s a struggle to get to the library; some parents may be put off as they think it’s not clean and it looks like they can’t provide for their children. If it is a puzzle maybe there are pieces missing, this should be checked but may have been missed. Some children can’t borrow what they want as others already have, and if they brake the toy that child misses out.
E7 Explain the role of the practitioner in supporting families-
The role of the practitioner in supporting families is to give them all the help and advice you can. When doing this it is important that practitioners respect the codes of confidentiality both ways not speaking about what they have been told unless it is a concern and not telling them information they don’t need to know, this could be about other children, parents or staff. The practitioner’s job is to care for the child and insuring their welfare is paramount. They will do this by observing the child on a regular basis.
This is the most important job. To do these practitioners will attend meeting to discuss anything they have concerns about, be it their health or development. If their concerns are put further they will have to attend multi-agency team meetings which will have other professional in to discuss what should happen with the child. “The Children Act 1989 has influenced setting by bringing together several sets of guidance and provided the foundation for many of the standards practitioners sustain and maintain when working with children.”(Meggit, pg376 2012) The Act requires that settings work together in the best interests of the child and that they form partnerships with parents /carers. It requires settings to have appropriate adult: child ratios and policies and procedures on child protection. This Act has had an influence in all areas of practice from planning a curriculum and record keeping.
D1 Describe how the practitioner can recognise when children and adults may be experiencing problems.
The practitioner can recognise problems with children if they have looked after them for a long time the children are very familiar to them. They will notice if the child is unhappy or troubled, this can be shown through behavior, lack of interest, be it food or activities. A child will also show their problems through observations; this can be attitude and behavior changes. If the child has emotional stress they will show it through crying, or sometimes through playing, it could be shown in the role play area or just in chit chat with their friends. They will see problems in adults in various ways. If the family are starting to have financial problems this may be shown through cheques bouncing. If there are other problems at home, parents may come in looking upset, tiered, and hot and bothered. Practitioners can tell a lot by someone’s body language and their facial expressions.
D2 Discuss TWO (2) strategies which parents can use for promoting positive behaviour in children.
Parents have a range of different strategies for promoting positive behaviour; these include reward charts and time out. Reward charts can be for numerous reasons meaning you can reward them for doing more than one thing. This promotes all types of positive behaviours like using manners, eating all their lunch, tidying their toys, not having an accident, and going to bed at night. The idea is that once they have filled their reward chart they can do something they enjoy. It is important not to take the stickers off them as they will think they are never going to fill it. All theorist believe in praising and rewarding good behaviour.
Time out is an effective way of disposing of bad behaviour this is done usually by the same rules. 1st telling the child that it is unwanted behaviour and it is not acceptable, 2nd warning the child that if they do it again they will be put on time out, and 3rd following through and putting them in time out. Parents will then go to them after the correct time and ask them for an apology, if they apologise properly it is suggested that they have a kiss and a cuddle to show that they have been forgiven. However if they don’t apologise they should remain in time out till they realise their behaviour is unacceptable. Many child behaviour theorists support this such as Jo Frost.
B1 Analyse some key issues for professionals working in support of families.
The key issues for all professionals are building a trusting relationship with the families this is not just with the parents but with the children too, this is so that they can talk to them in confidence about any troubles and concerns they may have when they are given the information practitioner must not break the trust and be confidential with the information unless they feel it needs to be looked in to. Practitioners need to make sure they are not showing any judgements on the family, if judgments are made and are spoken this could lead to the relationship failing and communication dropped if this happens in a setting we cannot make sure the child’s welfare is ok.
Language barriers can occur in different ways, these being if they speak a foreign language and if they don’t have an education in your area of profession such as telling a parent you are an EYP will be like talking to them in French they won’t understand. It is important to be clear to all the family and all the other professionals involved. If the multi-professional team is involved in supporting the family there can be many issues the family have, they may become confused as although they are working to the same aim they are pushing their own area of work more, however this might not be the best option for the child.
The parents of the child will become overloaded with information and they may become confused. Families working with the multi-agency team will have many areas of professions working alongside each other to get the child on the right tracks however all the areas are completely different so they will be asking a lot all at once. This will be a lot to take in and parents may feel like there is too much to do.
A1 Reflect on the benefits to children, parents, families and practitioners from working in partnership
When parents are working in partnership with practitioners it mean they are working towards the same aim as each other. This is important as children are easily confused. If parents are involved in planning it means that they know what is happening in their child’s life at nursery, this is good if the child is too young to talk or has communication problems. It is important to have a good, but professional relationship with the family members of the child in your care, as a practitioner we need to know what is happening in the child’s life at home so we can meet their individual needs, this will be done as and when it is needed. We need to be aware of what they are able to do, regarding religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
This is important when we are cooking for the children too; we also need to be kept up to date with any medication they are on, any food allergies, what they are allowed to eat and what they aren’t. Sometimes parents feel they need to compete with the child’s key worker as they both have a strong bond with the child. This is usually when a child is in the care of a practitioner for most of the waking day. If parents have concerns they should speak to the key worker and they can put into place an activity, where they are showing pictures of their family and teaching them who they are, for example mummy and daddy. Parents can be resentful towards the setting if the child does something significant in their care, such as first words or first steps. If practitioners are working in partnership and have a good relationship with the parents they will take this on easier than if they don’t have a very good relationship.
Courtney from Study Moose
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