Let’s keep the campaign going to improve life for the most vulnerable

Let’s keep the campaign going to improve life for the most vulnerable

  • Matt Buttery
  • 16 June 2017
  • Posted in: Healthcare, Education

Post General Election 2017, it’s essential we continue the campaign to improve life for society’s most vulnerable.

As an organisation committed to Sir Michael Marmot’s approach of proportionate universalism, Triple P UK will continue to call for parenting to be placed front and centre in this country’s social and health policy agenda and seek to ensure those who need it most receive the most help.

The influence parenting can have across the life course is well understood. The evidence for the most highly regarded parenting interventions which can go to scale is also well known.

Yet access to programmes which have been shown to work across multiple settings is still extremely restricted.

It’s too easy to blame an environment of increasing cuts and budget pressures for not taking notice of what works.

There are some outstanding examples in this country of local areas committed to joining the dots in social services across the community to improve the health outcomes of some of the most marginalised in our midst.

NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group estimates 29 per cent of children in Hastings and 19 per cent in Rother live in poverty. Their response is to try to transform the way health and social care is delivered in East Sussex by 2018.

As part of the East Sussex Better Together programme, Healthy Hastings and Rother sets out to unite various early intervention and prevention approaches across the community by using evidence-based programmes to intervene much earlier to support the most vulnerable, while also setting out to transform and reduce the burden on health care services.

This includes innovative ways of reaching vulnerable families by taking an approach that combines targeted and universal approaches across a number of intersecting pathways.

With a spend of £20 million, Healthy Hastings and Rother contributes to uniting the prevention and early intervention agendas of a number of community partners, including East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and the voluntary and community sector.

A key component of Healthy Hastings and Rother has been an investment in the population-health style delivery of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program managed by ESCC’s Early Help Service.

The mental health sector, such as the Centre for Mental Health, has been admirable in calling for evidence-based parenting programmes such as Triple P to be included as part of the solution to improving children’s mental health during the election campaign.

In Queensland, Australia, where the State Government is providing Triple P free to all families up to the age of 16, a two-year campaign which includes an investment in an accompanying destigmatisation campaign and community seminars connecting families to more intensive programmes if needed, the proportion of vulnerable families accessing Triple P is higher than community averages.

With this rollout including the eight-module digital innovation, Triple P Online, more than 70,000 families in just over 18 months have accessed a Triple P programme, either face to face or online.

In Queensland, organisations supporting complex families, including dads on parole looking to regain access to their children and families dealing with domestic violence, are able to expand the range of parenting services they offer while offering these evidence-based programmes free to clients.

These organisations are taking their own stepped-care destigmatisation approach, often using Triple P Selected Seminars to introduce clients to positive parenting strategies before making them aware that more intensive support is available with staff trained across multiple programmes.

In some cases this includes Triple P Family Transitions (for parents whose separation or divorce is complicating their parenting), or the level five Enhanced Triple P, for parents facing problems such as partner conflict, high levels of stress or mental health issues.

Data from 35 per cent of families who have accessed the programme in Queensland show this universal approach really does succeed in encouraging families who need our help to put their hands up.

Please contact me if you would like to find out how this approach can work across your local area, or for access to demonstration codes for Triple P Online for your organisation.

  • mental health
  • mental health taskforce
  • young people
  • children
  • health and social care
  • Article Author

About Matt Buttery

With responsibilities for the dissemination of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® across the UK and Europe, Matt Buttery is a passionate advocate of parenting as a public health issue and using evidence-based practice to help families and communities develop strong, healthy relationships and resilience. 

Matt has held various senior roles …