Study visit in Sure Start programmes run in Swansea, UK

The visit was organized in correlation to the BASPCAN Congress held in Swansea on 13-16 September 2009. The representative of the Nobody's Children Foundation, Renata Szredzińska, was joined by Irina Zverieva from Child Well-Being Fund, Ukraine and Agnese Megne - Center Against Abuse "Dardedze", Latvia. Both the Ukrainian and Latvian organizations are partners of the Nobody's Children Foundation in the project "Childhood without abuse - towards a better child protection system in Eastern Europe".
The visit was hosted by three Sure Start programmes run in the city of Swansea.


Minority Ethnic Women‘s Network, 24 Mansel Street, Swansea, Wales

Minority Ethnic Women‘s Network was created in 1994. Since 1999 it has been engaged in the government programme Sure Start. Their activities are aimed at ensuring equal start for children from ethnic minorities, by supporting their mothers, organizing play and development groups for children, providing an affordable childcare which makes it easier for parents to combine family and professional life.

Their activities for children are addressed mainly to children under 6, although they offer also compensatory classes for girls under 16 and boys under 11.

Women are referred mainly by social workers, health visitors, community workers, community nurses, police, immigration services and other services.

The MEWN Center does not provide support to men, due to the safety of women who often come from the culture where contact with men other than their family is not allowed or well seen.


Sure Start Health Development Team, Gorseinon Hospital, Brynawel Road, Gorseinon, Swansea
This Sure Start programme was initiated in Swansea in 2000. All its employees are employed by the Welsh branch of the NHS. They are all health visitor. They offer health development support by visiting families with at least one child under 4. The number of visits varies according to the family's need, but each family is visited at least 10 times (at least four visits till the baby is one year old and at least two visits a year until the child turns 4). The team numbers 110 full time employees.
Parents living in one of the participating communities can refer themselves for help if they:

  • Are a first time parent;
  • Require intensive support with regard to health and health promotion;
  • Require intensive support to develop basic parenting skills;
  • Need support to encourage their children to learn through play, especially where speech and language delay has been identified.

The activities are aimed at communities identified as deprived. The Team cooperates closely with other programmes run in Swansea in order to provide families who experience hardship and difficulties with comprehensive assistance.

Parents are informed about the offer of Health Development Team by the community midwifes who visits them after their child is born. They can refer themselves. However, the support is offered only to those families who face various problems, difficulties and hardship.

Sure Start, Early Years Development Team

Early Years Development Team is a part of the Sure Start programme. The team Works with Barents of children aged 0-14. The programme offers among others:

  • 12-week parenting skills workshops based on Incredible Years programme,
  • Workshops on dealing with emotions, 
  • Educational workshops for children with learning difficulties,
  • Workshops for fathers,
  • Book Start programme,
  • 6-week Language and Play programme for parents and their children enhancing children's linguistic capacities,
  • Workshop for parents-violence perpetrators, who end their imprisonment period and are about to return to their families.

Parents are referred mainly by health visitors (about 45%), social workers (40%), schools, CAFCAS.


Submitted by admin on Thu, 2009-10-29 12:37.