NYAS Cymru has today launched their Parent Advocacy programme, a pioneering early intervention service centred around supporting parents to engage with social services through the provision of independent advocacy.

The support of an advocate ensures parents are fully involved in decision making processes and can help them to navigate systems to keep families together and reduce the number of children entering the care system in Wales. The pilot scheme of the programme was initially launched in Caerphilly County Borough Council and was a huge success for parents. As a result of this success, NYAS Cymru’s online launch today demonstrates the beginning of the programme roll out across the Pan Gwent Area:

“This service needs to be more than Caerphilly wide. Parents feel very lost. If it wasn’t for Parent Advocacy I would still be lost in the system and my child would not be at home” – parent involved in Parent Advocacy early intervention service.

For parents who would have substantial difficulty fully participating within the statutory processes for reasons such as health issues, additional learning needs, addiction, poverty, housing, debt or domestic violence, the Parent Advocacy early intervention service offers a lifeline of support that is non-judgemental whilst empowering them and building their confidence and self-esteem as parents.

The programme focuses on empowering parents and subsequently supports the Welsh Government’s plans of reducing numbers of children entering the care system. Parents are encouraged to get involved in the parent support hubs ran by parents themselves, providing peer support and addressing the power imbalances between social services and families whilst ensuring that parents and families with emerging needs are supported.

NYAS Cymru CEO Sharon Lovell said, “ We are delighted to launch the Parent Advocacy Programme which demonstrates the power of parent advocacy. We will hear directly from parents on the difference this programme has made to their families lives and how it has prevented children entering the care system. Thank you to Welsh Government, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care; Julie Morgan, Gareth Jenkins; Assistant Director of Children’s Services, Caerphilly and Dr Clive Diaz from Cardiff University for also speaking at our launch today.”

For more information on the Parent Advocacy Programme and to make a referral please contact Daljit Kaur Morris at Daljit.kaurmorris@nyas.net