Lifestart Services Limited, a parenting charity specialising in improving child development outcomes in Donegal, held a seminar last week.
Lifestart’s Growing Child Programme promotes better child outcomes by helping parents to better understand how their child develops and learns in the first years of life and by supporting parents in their parenting role.
The programme is available through the Public Health Nursing Service to all first time parents in the county and to families with parenting support needs. It is delivered in the child’s own home by a trained Family Visitor.
The recent seminar was held in Letterkenny’s Mount Errigal Hotel. Keynote speakers included Anne McAteer Children’s Services Committee Co-Ordinator & Health Promotion Officer, HSE West and Deirdre Mahon, Assistant Director, Western Health and Social Care Trust.
In addition, Orla Tuohy, National Training and Promotional Officer, Parenting Support, Lifestart National Office, gave an update on the Child and Family Agency’s Parenting Support Strategy and Dr Laura Dunne, from Queens University Belfast gave an update on the on-going Random Control Trial of Lifestart programme impact.
Dr Pauline McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Lifestart Foundation said the event was very timely. “There is so much evidence now available that shows definitively that the two most important determinants of good outcomes for children are at home good parenting and the home-learning environment, that supporting parents is now integral to good public policy and practice aimed at giving children the best start in life,” she said.
The seminar was followed by the Annual General Meetings of Lifestart Services Ltd, Lifestart National Office Ltd and Lifestart Foundation Ltd.