Newpin, New Parents Information Network Program
The New Parent Infant Network (NewPIN) is a highly effective, evidence-based program that supports families where the relationship between parent and child is damaged or tenuous.
UnitingCare Kippax has received funding from The Snow Foundation for 8 years (2008-2016) for a full-time worker who supports 10 families over a 2 year period, creating generational social change.
Newpin mums, children, facilitators and volunteers at the Newpin Graduation in February 2017
Case Study # 1
*name changed for privacy purposes
*Claire joined Newpin through a referral from the social worker at the Calvary hospital. Initially, she felt she did not see herself benefitting from the program given that her child was very young at the time of the referral (3 months old) and that the activities were not relevant to her child’s age as yet.
C had a difficult time in the early part of her parenting experience. Her daughter had oral aversion and was not taking in the bottle. It would take C 1 hour to finish a bottle feed, relying on each droplet of milk that her child would only take when she is asleep. This made it difficult for her to get out of the house. C had fears of her child not thriving and seeking medical help was a slow and tedious process. She also struggled with picking up the baby’s cues and was exhausted. She felt she is failing as a parent.
Due to her own experiences of how she was parented and having strong cultural influences, C experienced lots of fear and doubt in her own parenting. She was also quite isolated being a full-time mother who had low confidence in her English speaking skills.
C started to consider the program as she made friends with fellow members. She particularly enjoyed the parent development programs and as she got more knowledge and understanding of parenting, this helped her have a better relationship with her child. C also found that she has started to reflect on her own experiences to understand what she feels towards her child and their situation. It equipped her with understanding to combat her fears and worries.
C shares that after 2 years in Newpin, the biggest outcome is that she is now more aware of her own feelings and emotions and she can tune in better with herself and her child. She has also started to accept that parenting is not easy and that she is not perfect. Because of all these, she has now started to feel that parenting is rewarding and appreciates the good and not so good experiences that come with it. Most important to her are the relationships that she has formed with the other mothers, volunteers, staff and the community.
C is now an official parent volunteer in Newpin. She shares her skills and experiences to other new mothers and gives them support. C plans to continue to work hard to apply everything she learnt in Newpin and to keep identifying her own limitations in parenting and work around it. She hopes to become a role model to other mothers. C would eventually like to go back to the workforce. Newpin has referred her on to the Community Connections program of Uniting Care Kippax to receive assistance in education and work placement.
Case study #2
Mina* was referred to NewPIN by ADACAS (advocacy service). Mina’s daughter Raine* (4yo) has been in out of home care for almost a year, this is the second time she has been removed. Mina has struggled from a long history of DV, mental health issues and strained relationships with Care and Protection workers. Mina was very apprehensive to work with any service due to the trauma she suffered from her past experiences. According to Mina, she has never been referred to a parenting support program throughout her involvement with CP. Mina has been involved in countless incidents of arguments and grievance cases against CP and Barnardos workers. Mina is clearly very traumatised which explains the defensive and dysregulated behaviour she displays when triggered. She was very keen to join NewPIN in hopes that a parenting support program may help her get her daughter back, however she was still very hesitant to work with anyone. Her first few weeks in NewPIN, Mina was very avoidant, defensive and easily triggered. She was also very suspicious of staff and other participants. NewPIN recognised this and focused on building a supportive, non-judgmental and therapeutic relationship with Mina. Through the parent training programs, group work and non-judgmental support, Mina slowly displayed signs of trust and openness. Mina started to communicate to staff in a less defensive manner and was receptive to staff. She finally agreed to be referred to Case Management and receive legal aid. This made a huge difference to Mina, she now has a team of support workers helping her in all aspects of her journey. There has been continued liaison amongst NewPIN, Care & Protection, Barnardos, Case Management and ADACAS. Mina for the first time feels that she is connected, well-informed and supported. She is now feeling confident that through the continued support she is receiving, she can manage to improve her parenting and address CP’s concerns in the hopes of having her child restored to her care.
Feedback from Mina:
“I feel supported and I now have a support network. I gained confidence, a sense of acceptance and an understanding of the responsibilities of motherhood. I have gained more knowledge and perspective on parenting, especially the emotional aspects of it, the practicalities of it- good sense of daily routine, attending to my child’s needs physically, emotionally, and understanding her behaviour. I realised that a happy child is one who clearly enjoys presence and good memories. I am starting to accept the journey that I am in and the ongoing journey plus the responsibilities that come with it. Through the groups, I have gained more appreciation of others and the journey they may be in. Most importantly, I can now appreciate my own strengths as a parent and that I do have them. NewPIN understands us and understands children, it’s invaluable.”
Some other comments received from Newpin mums:
“Thank you for all the support you all give to us It has helped and still helps us each day.”
“I think it is essential for all mums to have Newpin in their lives.”
“An excellent program for all mums who may be experiencing challenging times…”
“Thank you to this program I learnt that I can show genuine empathy for my child, that I needed to recognise my own meta-emotions, and that I am the best role model for my child.”
“I am bigger and better than my anger!- the best part of my learning in Newpin”
“Thank you because I have found my safe place to talk about my experiences and what is difficult for me without being judged.”
“I have a better relationship with my children now… that’s what I never had.”
#Data gathered from interviews and feedback forms/ surveys completed by the Newpin participants.