Research shows that 70% of parents feel they need advice and support in their parenting role, yet many are unaware that services exist or have difficulty accessing those services. Shropshire Council’s Family Information Service (FIS) offers free impartial information, advice and support on all aspects of family life.
The FIS work to expand the ways that parents can gain access to the quality information they need to support them in their role as parents. In April 2012 the FIS launched a blog to share information news and tips with parents. The aim was for the site to include blogs from:-
The Family Information Service – to include blogs based on national campaigns; responding to news or changes in legislation; and to provide a dynamic site highlighting the range of information available through the FIS.
Other children, young people and family services – showcasing the work of others within the wider public sector, but also voluntary and charitable organisations, giving organisations the space and opportunity to promote the work they do, and to raise awareness to parents that there are services available to support them.
Parents, carers and family members – the FIS are especially keen to have blogs from parents who would kindly shared their experience of being a parent with others, offering peer to peer support, and for those reading them to know that whatever the issue, they are probably not alone. By far the most popular blogs in terms of views and shares are those from parents. They have included:-
- A mum blogging about her experience of post natal depression – and what the books didn’t tell her about becoming a mum
- A dad blogging about 5 Things dads should do before childbirth.
- A mum with 5 Simple Tips to Keeping Primary Age Children Safe Online.
- A young parent sharing how she felt when she found out she was pregnant at 16, and the stigma she faced as a result of being a young mum. This blog was picked up by the Guardian and posted online.
- A mum of a child with Autism shared a moving poem she wrote about being a parent to a child with a disability. This blog was posted at the start of Autism Awareness Month, and also picked up by the National Autism Society.
- A dad writing about parenting teenagers and how he felt when his eldest son left home for university.
- A mum writing about when her empty nest became a full nest again with children moving out and boomeranging back.
The blog averages 600 views per month and is available at www.shropshirefamilyinfoblog.com
by Kate Bentham,
Kate blogs here.