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Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit Releases 2014 Parenting Needs Assessment Report

SIMCOE, December 1st, 2014 The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is pleased to announce the release of the 2014 Parenting Needs Assessment Report, a report of the results of a comprehensive survey of parents’ needs in Haldimand and Norfolk.

The survey was developed with input from agencies in Haldimand and Norfolk involved with the delivery of parenting programs, services and resources, including Grand Erie District School Board, Haldimand-Norfolk REACH and the Salvation Army. One of the survey’s initial goals was to discover why attendance at some programs had declined. Other goals included determining the needs of parents, the types of programs and information that would support them and the barriers accessing services.

The survey was advertised and disseminated using a mixed method approach-bookmarks were created and widely distributed which included the online link. The survey was also promoted on the radio, with posters and social media. Extra effort was made to reach populations that are often underrepresented; this includes the Low German speaking Mennonite population.

1144 people responded, with the majority being females 35-54 years old. Parents of younger children were most interested in information about behaviour and discipline, while parents of older children wanted more information about self esteem and self respect. School flyers are the top choice for marketing information, and parents prefer to receive information at home, through newsletters, pamphlets and the Internet as they are more likely focus their attention on the information. Time is a major barrier for parents trying to access resources and services. Parents indicated that Haldimand and Norfolk could provide more flexibility with program hours. Overall, the results presented that great work has been done in the community, but that continued efforts are needed to assist parents so that children can attain and sustain optimal health and development.

“This was a great example of community integration.  Agencies identified that the community needed to be consulted on what parents needed. Not just in terms of parenting programs but what parents in this community needed to help them succeed,“ says Melanie Michaels, Program Manager, School Health at the HNHU and one of the chief organizers of the project. “Community agencies collaborated with parents in designing the needs assessment survey and now have recommendations on how best to provide information distribution, support and programming.”

The results will be shared throughout the community with the hope that the information will help agencies involved in the delivery of parenting programs to develop programs that are relevant and accessible.

The report is available online at hnhu.org.

Media Contact:

Melanie Michaels, R.N. B.Sc.N., CCHN(c)

Program Manager, School Health

Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

519-426-6170 ext 3213

melanie.michaels@hnhu.org