Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees
Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees focuses on supporting migrant and refugee parents to find their feet in their local community and build a bright future for their children.
How does it work?
Parent Champions are parent volunteers who give a few hours a week to talk to other parents about childcare and other local services available to families. Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees schemes support migrant and refugee parents to connect with the local services that can help their children make new friends and prepare for school as well as support parents to work. These services often include early education and childcare, language classes, training and education activities for parents and encouragement to participate in local family friendly events and spaces. Supporting migrant and refugee parents during their child’s early years provides parents with an excellent opportunity to form relationships with other local parents, helping them to support each other and their children.
Why Parent Champions?
Parent Champions volunteering for a Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugee scheme are migrant and refugee parents themselves who have been motivated by their own experience of local services to support other parents. Speaking the same languages and having a personal understanding of migrant and refugee parents’ experiences, Parent Champions are able to share their own positive experience of local services in a relatable, trusted and informal way. They often meet with local parents at schools, children’s centres, doctor surgeries, libraries and community get together’s.
Progress to date
The Family and Childcare Trust teamed up with the Parent House to set up a Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees scheme in Islington in September 2016. Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees began a one year pilot stage at the start of 2017 which is currently underway. The pilot, to be completed in December 2017, will be followed by an evaluation with the aim of using learning to support further roll out of Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees.
To be kept up to up to date about Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees and be notified about the results of the pilot, sign up to the Family and Childcare Trust’s newsletter below.
Scheme setup – completed!
The Family and Childcare Trust teamed up with the Parent House to setup a Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees scheme in Islington in September 2016. 18 parent volunteers are now recruited from local migrant and refugee communities, including from local Syrian, Bangladeshi, Somalian and Turkish communities.
Pilot – underway!
Since the start of 2017, Parent Champions have been supporting newly arrived migrant and refugee parents in Islington. In the first four months of piloting, 55 parents were reached by Parent Champions. Many of these parents reported feeling more positive about the local support services available and accessing them. Parent Champions reported feeling that they had gained more confidence and skills for the job market.
What people are saying about Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees
Vittoria Primary school
“The two volunteers were lovely and very approachable. Our parents felt at ease with them.”
Solace Women’s Aid
“The [Parent Champions] were amazing! Really lovely to hear directly from them and the women really appreciated it.”
“[Parent Champions for Migrants and Refugees] will enable us to serve to the community and empower them.”
Sign up to the Family and Childcare Trust's newsletter
Get the latest news, research and resources from the Family and Childcare Trust.