The project is based in Southampton where there is a high level of deprivation. Children and young people live in families, which are chaotic in nature, where there is a history of generational unemployment and where parents/carers do not have the skills needed to engage with their children in a positive manner, and manage their behaviour and their needs.
Children and young people in these families have low aspirations, with little value placed on education either by them or their parents/carers. From an early age these children are disadvantaged in terms of learning basic social skills many of us take for granted. Parents/carers in many cases do not play with their children or interact with them in a way that encourages their social development.
Many parents/carers face significant issues themselves including low self-esteem, lack of confidence, money worries and poor education.
The Impact Project supports both children/young people and their parents to overcome the issues of
• After school activity club where young people can engage with a range of activities that enhances both their social skills and their attainment, whilst building self-esteem and self-confidence.
• Homework support for young people who are struggling to complete work set. If young people do not have homework they can come and read with support workers.
• Support for older young people to access education, employment and training opportunities
• Support for parents to deal with practical issues around debt, benefit, employment and training.
• Support for parents around behaviour management, setting boundaries and positive interaction with their children.
• Family days where parents and their children engage with a range of activities that allow them to play together, from board games to walks in the New Forest.
• Acting as advocates for parents and children/young people in dealing with statutory bodies involved in their lives such as schools and social workers.
• Encourage mutual support networks between families.
• Support families to access other services available to deal with specific issues beyond the skills of Youth Options.