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Parents aware of local programs, but not all use them, Health Unit reports

SIMCOE, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 – A report released today by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit revealed that over 95 per cent of parents and caregivers are aware of at least one local parenting program or resource.

The Haldimand & Norfolk Awareness and Use of Parenting Programs and Resources Report (2012) surveyed a total of 194 residents with children 0-17 years of age, asking various questions about their awareness and use of parenting programs and resources. Seventy per cent of parents surveyed reported that they have taken advantage of the local resources available. However, the survey discovered that males, older parents, and those parents with low income and education levels were less likely to use the resources.

“It’s wonderful to learn that parents are aware of the many resources and programs available to them in our area,” said Gillian Raffay, Public Health Nurse with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “But we need to ensure that parents can easily access these programs and services, regardless of their age, sex and socio-economic status.”

The services and resources that surveyed parents were most aware of include Public Health Nurses, the Ontario Early Years Centre – Haldimand and Norfolk, a unit of H-N Reach (OEYC), and Haldimand and Norfolk Counties’ community activity and services guides.

The survey also examined which places parents most frequently turn to for parenting information. Websites and other online sources were by far the most commonly accessed source of parenting information, followed by doctors, nurses or other health professionals.

“We know parents are increasingly looking to the internet for answers to their parenting questions, so we need to promote our local services online,” added Raffay. “It’s also important to make sure parents know where to look online for reliable, accurate information, because they will likely come across a lot of myths and false information that is being presented as fact.”
The full report is available on the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website at www.hnhu.org.
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Media contact:
Deanna White
Epidemiologist
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3215 at either 519.426.6170 or 905.318.6623
deanna.white@hnhu.org