YMCA - Parents and Kids Together Programme (PAKT): exploring the potential for informal support among parents

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Yeriskina, Tatyana
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Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork
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This research is a Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) project carried out on behalf of YMCA-Parents and Kids Together (PAKT) programme. This research aims to explore the potential informal support structures developed between parents through their participation in the programme. This thesis examines the potential for informal support among parents in PAKT through qualitative methodology comprising of focus groups with parents and semi-structured interviews with programme coordinators, A literature review was carried out to examine the policy context of family support services in Ireland and to explore other available research in the field of family support. What emerges from the literature is that family support programmes aimed at parents have a positive social support impact. Benefits such as reduction of isolation, expansion of social capital and social networking were evident throughout the literature. This research provided evidence of support structures developed by parents through PAKT since joining the programme. It emerged from this research that positive relationships, advice seeking and giving, shared experiences and willingness to support each other at times of stress and difficulty, as well as practical supports are some of the key supports experienced by parents involved in PAKT. This research recognises the potential of family support programmes to develop support among its participants in every-day life outside programme hours as an offshoot of involvement. Family support programmes seem to have the potential to develop positive environments which facilitate the development and extension of long-term informal support structures among parents.
Support among parents , Informal support structures , Family support services , Positive relationships , PAKT , Family support programmes
Yeriskina, T. (2017) YMCA - Parents and Kids Together Programme (PAKT): exploring the potential for informal support among parents. Cork: Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork.
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©2017, Tatyana Yeriskina.