Children

Free Parenting After Separation Workshops

Kent Family Mediation Service are offering Parenting After Separation Workshops.  These workshops are free for separated parents living in Kent. The workshops will help separated parents learn to communicate with each other better, will help them to deal with the impact of their separation on their children and improve the situation for their children. Parents attend separate workshops and if one parent doesn’t  attend their workshop, the other parent can still attend theirs. To book a place on the workshop, please email Karen at contact@kentfms.co.uk

KCC postpones consultation on Infant Feeding Services

Kent County CouncilKent County Council has withdrawn the consultation on infant feeding after listening to feedback from concerned families and other stakeholders.

The consultation, launched on July 18, will now be reviewed and relaunched in September as it is recognised the current consultation has caused some confusion and does not fully articulate what was intended.

Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter said: “This year, the Health Visiting service has seen an investment of £21.85million. By almost doubling the number of Health Visitors through this investment, we now have the capacity to reshape the health visiting service alongside enhanced breast feeding support.”

“Kent County Council is determined to deliver a comprehensive breast feeding support service in the future. We will be carrying out pre-consultation meetings in early September with those mothers and other key stakeholders who are currently expressing concern.”

“All feedback received so far will be taken into account when the Infant Feeding proposals go out to consultation again next month.”

Paul Carter continued: “Kent County Council is totally committed to supporting new mothers to breastfeed. The increased number of Health Visitors means that 95% of new mums now receive their new birth visit as required.”

“We are determined to deliver an enhanced breast feeding advice service and are prepared to take extra time in rewording the consultation document to make our intentions clear and set out our proposals with absolute clarity.”

Kent County Council 07 August 2017
https://kccmediahub.net/kcc-consults-infant-feeding-services745

KCC Consults on Infant Feeding Services

Kent County CouncilInfant Feeding Service

Kent County Council

Opens: 17 July 2017
Closes: 3 September 2017

Families across Kent are being asked their views on proposed changes to infant feeding services, including breastfeeding support.

KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark explained: “The current contract is coming to an end and we have been investigating what service users and providers need – the consultation runs until the beginning of September and considers timely support, more joined up services and more information about the peer support teams with rapid referral to a lactation consultant when needed.

“As part of the development of the Health Visiting model, there have also been discussions with PS Breastfeeding CIC, Early Help and KCHFT. As a result of these conversations, we are consulting on transferring responsibility for community infant feeding support to the Health Visiting Service and are inviting people’s views.”

He adds: “We expect that this proposal will enable all families to access nutrition advice as part of a comprehensive infant health service that links to Children’s Centres and maternity services, making best use of the existing professional skills and resources in the Health Visiting Service. (more…)

New mental health and eating disorders services

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupFrom 1 September 2017, people of any age in east Kent with an eating disorder, and children and young people who need specialist mental healthcare, will get more joined-up services.

This is because contracts for a new all-age eating disorders service in Kent and Medway and an innovative children and young people’s mental health service in Kent have been awarded to the same organisation: NHS trust NELFT.

Currently, different trusts provide different aspects of the service, and there is no separate specialist service for people with eating disorders: it is part of wider mental health services.

Although the contracts were awarded separately, NELFT won both of them after being judged best for quality and value for money by each of the teams involved, who included GPs and mental health specialists. All the Kent services provided by NELFT will be based locally.

Children, young people and families with experience of mental health problems, and teenagers and adults with experience of eating disorders played a key role in the process, including setting out what they expect from the new service. (more…)

Registration for the Kent Test

Registration for Kent Test (11+) is now open for any parent of a year five child who would like them to be considered for a place in a Kent Grammar school for 2018.

Parents have until 3 July to register for the test. These will take place after the summer break on 7 September for children who go to school in Kent and 9 September for those children who go to school outside of Kent. Results will be sent out on 12 October.

Roger Gough, KCC Cabinet Member for Education said: “To speed up the process we urge as many parents as possible to register online. 95% of all test registrations are made this way and allows results to be sent by email.

“The Kent Test helps parents and children find the most suitable type of school for the next stage of their education.

“As more grammar schools include priority for pupils eligible for free school meals in their admissions arrangements we are particularly keen to encourage these families  to register and sit the test.“ (more…)

New school health services

Innovative new school health services underway across Kent

New school health services are being rolled out in Kent which will see greater access for children and young people to support for physical and mental health issues.

Kent County Council has awarded two new contracts – the Primary School Public Health Service and the Adolescent and Targeted Emotional Wellbeing Service – to Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT).

The new contracts for school-age children were drawn up after consultation with people using and working with the services. It will start on 1 April and parents, children, young people and schools will notice a variety of improvements over the next couple of months including:

  • increased opening hours from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • easier access with one number, email and online referral to contact the service
  • uniforms to make the school health team more visible
  • increased drop ins at schools, youth clubs and community venues
  • for children and young people, with web chat.

(more…)

Need urgent help?

Check the helplines listed on our Useful links page

National Domestic Violence Helpline Tel: 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/helpline/
provides services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Refuge www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/
offers a range of services which gives women and children access to professional support whatever their situation.

Samaritans www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us Tel:116 123. or
visit the local branch www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-ashford-and-tenterden
offers confidential and emotional support for those who are experiencing despair.

Saneline www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/  0300 304 7000 from 4:30pm – 10:30pm every evening
offers information and support for those with mental health issues.

Release the Pressure www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/release-the-pressure
Tel: 0800 107 0160
Chat online www.mentalhealthmatters.com/our-services/helpline-services/time-online/
A KCC funded service provided by an independent charity, offers advice and help for those suffering from stress

FRANK www.talktofrank.com/contact-frank Tel: 0300 123 6600,
Need a quick answer? Text a question and FRANK will text you back Text 82111 or
Chat online www.talktofrank.com/livechat 2pm – 6pm every day
helps people with drug problems.

Drinkline Tel: 0300 123 1110
free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s.

Shelter http://england.shelter.org.uk/contact_us Tel: 0808 800 4444
offers housing advice.

Runaway www.runawayhelpline.org.uk/advice/  Tel or Text 116 000,
Chat online using link above, or
email: 116000@runawayhelpline.org.uk
advises young people aged 17 if they are thinking about running away, if they have already run away, or if they have been away and come back and those that are worried that someone else is going to run away or if they are being treated badly or abused.

Childline www.childline.org.uk/get-support/ Tel: 0800 1111,
Chat online: www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/, or
Email: www.childline.org.uk/locker/inbox/
helps children or young people in distress. Tel: 0800 1111

Silverline www.thesilverline.org.uk/ Tel: 0800 470 8090
provides information, friendship and advice for older folk.

Swaddling & slings

Safer Sleep WeekSwaddling

Some believe swaddling young babies can help them settle to sleep. Whilst we do not advise for or against swaddling, we do urge parents to follow the advice below.  If you decide to adopt swaddling, this should be done for each day and night time sleep as part of a regular routine:

  • use thin materials
  • do not swaddle above the shoulders
  • never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front
  • do not swaddle too tight
  • check the baby’s temperature to ensure they do not get too hot

Slings

Slings and baby-carriers are useful for holding a baby hands-free, however they are not always used safely. Although there is no reliable evidence that slings are directly associated with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are particularly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants.

The risk appears to be greatest when a baby’s airway is obstructed either by their chin resting on their chest or their mouth and nose being covered by a parent’s skin or clothing.

The safest baby carrier to use will keep the infant firmly in an upright position where a parent can always see their baby’s face, and ensure their airways are free. Complete guidance is available by visiting The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Download

Lullaby Trust factsheet on mattresses, bedding and cots
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/file/—–internal-documents/Fact-Sheet-Mattresses-bedding-and-cots.pdf

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/swaddling-slings

 

Using a dummy

Safer Sleep WeekSome research suggests that it is possible that using a dummy when putting a baby down to sleep could reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

  • If you choose to use a dummy, wait until breastfeeding is well established (at up to about 4 weeks old).
  • Stop giving a dummy to your baby to go to sleep between 6 and 12 months.
  • Don’t force your baby to take a dummy or put it back in if your baby spits it out. Don’t use a neck cord.
  • Don’t put anything sweet on the dummy, and don’t offer during awake time.
  • Using an orthodontic dummy is best as it adapts to your baby’s mouth shape.
  • If you choose to use a dummy make sure it is part of your baby’s regular sleep routine.

Download

Lullaby Trust factsheet on the use of dummies
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/file/Fact-Sheet-Dummies.pdf

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/dummies

 

A clear cot is a safer cot

Safer Sleep WeekBabies need just a few basic items for sleep: a firm flat surface and some bedding. New parents now have a massive range of baby products to choose from and it can be really confusing to know what is needed. Our advice is simple: the safest cot is a clear cot.

There is evidence to suggest that babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered and some items added to a cot may increase the risk of head-covering. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can also increase the risk of accidents. Make sure that any product you use meets the relevant British safety standard. Whilst evidence on individual items is not widely available, it makes sense to be as cautious as possible. We therefore recommend babies are slept in cots that are kept as clear as possible and specifically advise:

  • No pillows or duvets;
  • No cot bumpers;
  • No soft toys;
  • No loose bedding;
  • No products to keep a baby in one sleeping position such as wedges or straps.

We cannot comment on individual products, but would advise parents to read the safety advice when making choices. Sadly there is no product that can reduce the chance of SIDS and we would advise parents to be cautious about any product that makes such a claim.

#safersleepweek

The Lullaby Trust, ‘Safer Sleep for babies: a Guide for Parents’,
www.lullabytrust.org.uk/clear-cot