Ropes, clips and another encouraging person standing solidly below makes sure the climber is safe and feels safe.
Knowing they are safe means the climber can explore, climb higher and enjoy the climb. Climbing is a big part of our lives and a metaphor for what we hope to achieve for families.
The Belay Foundation can be part of the team belaying a family, offering practical help at home, supporting the family to access funds, and maximising the capacity and strength of the parents and everyone around the family to pull together and keep everyone safe.
Parenting can be emotionally and physically exhausting and it can be difficult to find someone to offer practical but therapeutic help at home such as childcare.
The Belay Foundation has specialist knowledge in finding, training and supporting trauma-responsive childcare and youth mentors. We call these professionals Specialist Support Workers. We help families to work out what they need and how to find someone, and we offer the professionals providing that support with training an supervision. Although Specialist Support Workers work individually with families, there is a growing Belay community to share knowledge, skills and encouragement.
Our overall aim is to bring together those needing help and those offering support to improve the life chances of children impacted by trauma
Many children living with early trauma can find every day activities (such as getting dressed, going to school, staying calm and regulated, enjoying nursery, spending time with friends, or attending wraparound care) very difficult. As parents, helping our children to manage as best they can – and finding solutions or offering support when they struggle – can be financially as well as emotionally draining.
The Belay Foundation has extensive experience supporting families in accessing disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and also in signposting families to broader support. This can help fund sensory equipment, pay towards specialist in-home support, offset some of the loss in income for parents for find their children’s need for relational care reduces their capacity to pursue their previous careers (or indeed manage paid employment at all), or simply help with replacing smashed technology or repairing walls.
Parenting can be a lonely, hard road, and many parents find their capacity is stretched to the limit. At the same time, wider family and friends may not understand why bringing up children living with early trauma often leads families to explore different approaches to family life, to parenting, and indeed sometimes to adopt ways of living that may seem bewildering or counter-intuitive.
The Belay Foundation has developed a range of parenting and family network support options to help alleviate the loneliness, provide more resilience, and assist families and friends to feel more confident and comfortable helping to scaffold the family.