Parenting assessments & support

How do we help young people to parent?Helping struggling parents

In 2012, we set up Ealing Parenting Assessment Centre, in collaboration with Coral Community Assessments, to help vulnerable young people improve their parenting skills. 

Each client – usually referred to us by local authorities – moves into one of 13 self-contained flats, which are staffed 24 hours a day. They stay here with us for six to 12 weeks.

During this time, a specially trained team will evaluate how the client is looking after their child or children. A key worker partners with them to create a tailored plan detailing the skills they need to learn and demonstrate. The team gives guidance, advice and feedback to the client to help them develop their abilities.

Why is it necessary?

Some young parents, especially those who have had difficult pasts or are dealing with challenging circumstances, can struggle to understand and cope with meeting their children’s needs. In these cases, social services might get involved and put a Child Protection Plan in place. Or they may start proceedings to take these children into care. We believe in taking every step to support people to become better parents so that children are removed from them only as a very last resort.

A parent’s view: ‘I really benefited from the support’

Lisa, who had her daughter at 18, was referred to the centre. She says: ‘Social services have been involved with me since I was six. I was worried they wanted to take my baby away from me and the assessment was to catch me out.

‘But it didn’t feel like an assessment. I liked the accommodation and felt safe there. I really benefited from the support and learnt how to live on my own. It was good to know I was caring for my daughter by myself and could cope.’

T: 020 8832 1540 

E: greenford2@ymcawestlondon.org.